Friday, July 24, 2015

Overseas Education

I read with interest the article "Most Malaysian parents are for overseas education" which reveals that "A whopping 88% of Malaysian parents would consider sending their child overseas to pursue tertiary education."

This lately, I've been thinking about education too, especially since my running buddy is now in the United Kingdom to attend his daughter's graduation. My daughter, JJ, is 13 years old now, and in a couple of years' time I, too, will have to decide between local and foreign education for her.

I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog that we have job applicants from both local and foreign universities' graduates, and what I have discovered was that as far as the quality of the knowledge acquired from the university is concerned, there is hardly any difference between local and foreign universities. Of course this is speaking from the general point of view. We haven't had applicants from Harvard, for example, so I can't tell what more, if any, that they can do when compared to the rest of the universities.

I have come to the conclusion that it is much easier to pass in the university than in high school. One has to attend lectures, do assignments (which usually means cut-and-paste from Google or some other sources); perhaps take up some sort of sporting activities to fill in the quota, and then of course sit for the written exams. I dare say it would take a stupid kid to actually fail the degree; any average kid sent to the university will earn the degree somehow!

No—if I decide for a foreign university for my JJ—and it's very likely that I would, eventually—it won't be because I'm convinced that the quality of that foreign education is superior than our local education. As far as knowledge is concerned, it's more or less the same. And even if indeed the foreign universities can provide more knowledge or abilities, that difference is negligible.

A more significant reason why I would choose a foreign university for JJ is for the exposure to the foreign people and culture. It is a matter of great concern to me that the mentality of Malaysians in general does not produce good, honest and hardworking people. In the long run this kind of mentality will become a huge stumbling block for our children to progress in life. We are bound to have a minority productive portion of the population supporting the majority of unproductive population. Human resource is a very important asset to a nation, but only if we're talking about productive people.

Another reason is that I want JJ to see a different world out there where the leaders view seriously the problems of racism and extreme religious inclinations. In Malaysia, our leaders do too little, and in some cases seemingly encourage racism and religious boundaries to divide the people. There are better things out there in the world, and I hope not to deprive JJ of that knowledge.

So, yes, I will try my best to give overseas education to JJ for as long as I can afford it. Which means making plans from the day she was born, i.e. setting up of an education fund, as well as other means of savings. To achieve bigger things, sacrifices are necessary for some of us, because hoping for help from others is a long shot, to say the least.

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