Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Unemployable Malaysian Grads












In Budget 2013, Najib Razak is proving to be extremely adept at coming up with half-baked schemes that deplete our funds. The prime minister has proposed to establish the Graduate Employability Blueprint with an allocation of RM200 million, primarily to assist unemployed graduates. The objective is to make these jobless Malaysians marketable. This is akin to throwing money down the drain. Our money. What can anybody do in a short space of time that four years of tertiary education cannot? There is no magic wand to wave so that these grads can be wondrously transformed into competent and productive employees. Let’s not kid ourselves, please!

Note that The Malaysian Insider on October 09, 2012 had called attention to online recruitment firm Jobstreet's survey of Malaysian employers and found that (1) more than half of 571 HR managers were unable to hire the graduates due to the job seekers’ poor communication skills, notably their lack of command in using English; (2) 60 percent said they were forced to turn them down due to bad attitude, personality and character; and (3) 64 percent said they rejected them because they had asked for unrealistic remuneration during the interview.

Note also that Malaysia’s mushrooming local higher education institutions churned out a total 184,581 graduates last year according to the latest statistics released on the Higher Education Ministry’s website (http://www.mohe.gov.my/web_statistik/perangkaan2011.htm). Of that figure, 44,391 people or 24 percent are unemployed.

In short, the education system has failed miserably. Isn’t that why the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report made an appearance last month? Doesn’t this prove that the Education Ministry is finally acknowledging the dismal showing by Malaysian students in international assessments and and is making amends with new policies and initiatives? Isn’t it a recognition that we need to overhaul our education system? Hasn’t Muhyiddin Yassin as Education Minister been talking cock all this while – If you are the disbelieving type, please read my April 16, 2012 blogpost at this link http://helpvictor.blogspot.com/2012/04/superior-malaysian-education.html.

Malaysians in general have known about the delining educational standards for a long time now. Just look at the quality of students entering our universities. I know. I teach at Sunway University and lecturers like me have to grapple with a majority who brashly displayed a smart alecky reluctance to read, write or even think. And I am not even going to talk about their English and/or knowledge about current affairs.

Yet in Budget 2013, the BN-led government had actually trimmed its education budget drastically from RM50 billion in the last budget to RM38.7 billion, thereby raising questions whether the education blueprint is just a PR exercise and even if it is not, there are healthy doubts that the ambitious plan can address our flagging education standards. All I see are mixed signals from an incompetent government.

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