Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Malay Education

It was mentioned during the Symposium that mental work will be more valuable than hard labour in time to come. This was also mentioned by the PM during the National Day Rally when he said that Seagate will stop manufacturing the physical hard disk drives and will instead focus on research and development of the material used in the hard disk.

Hence, it is safe to say that one has got to study harder now, more than ever. In a meritocratic society, those who do not perform well will most probably lose out. And being a minority in a meritocratic society simply means that we've gotta work even harder.

I stumbled upon a 27-page document entitled "Progress of the Malay Community in Singapore since 1980" (2005) - a report presenting educational, economic, social, and quality of life indicators which together give a comprehensive picture of the community. I'll be focusing only on the educational aspect of the report.

The proportion of students among Malays in the group 7-16 years is now the same as the national average. However, we have the lowest percentage of GCE 'O' Level Students with at least Five 'O' Level Passes as well as GCE 'A' Level Students with at least 2 'A' and 2 'AO' Level passes including General Paper. We also have the lowest percentage of Primary One cohort admitted to Post-Secondary Institutions (ITE, Polytechnics, Junior Colleges/Centralised Institutes) as well as those admitted to Tertiary Institutions (Polytechnics or Universities).

The only area where we had the highest percentage in was in the number of primary school dropouts as well as secondary school dropouts. And our "ranking" has been consistent since 1980.

During the symposium, someone mentioned how fathers tend to neglect their child's education. And I personally think that in a Malay family, fathers play the role of a breadwinner and disciplinarian while mothers deal with everything else. Something's just not right here.... But this is just one of possibly many other things.

................ (to be continued)

Food for thoughts:
  1. How much time, effort and money is the typical Malay family willing to spend on their child's education?
  2. There is a need for a role model within the family to act as a mentor for the child. But what if there isnt?
  3. Can we ever break away from this vicious cycle that we are in?

Perhaps thinking about the community as a whole is a waste of time given the fact that I do not have 25 hours a day. Perhaps not. Perhaps this is one aspect where i can try put my thinking and dreaming skills to some good use? Insyaallah.

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