April 30th, 2011

Stemming the brain drain

 WHEN I woke up for my morning prayers, I found my son’s message on Facebook from London. He wanted my opinion on the brain drain in Malaysia.

Apparently, they had a discussion at Malaysia Hall last Sunday on the subject and it had bugged him.

He said a number of his friends in the UK were thinking of not going home after graduating since, according to them, the lure of a better quality of life was too deep-rooted overseas.

My son said perhaps it had a lot do with our education system.

Malaysia needs to do more than just have a 1Malaysia type slogan.

If we are serious about bringing the people together, then start with the school system.

We should not have any vernacular schools or societies identified by race. I know this will definitely ruffle a lot of feathers, but think about it.

How can we achieve 1Malaysia if the children don’t grow up learning about other races? They learn not from TV programmes but from daily interaction among classmates.

I attended Chinese school in my primary years and two more years in private secondary school.

I still remember how my teachers would use stories about China, and how the eyes of the primary children would be beaming with pride whenever such stories were told.

How can we start to do the same for our primary school syllabus?

Reintroduce and rewrite our history books in the primary school syllabus and do not let them memorise numbers and dates.

Let them remember stories instead. Blend in the historical figures from all the three races. Introduce Admiral Cheng Ho as a hero and how, together with Hang Tuah, they rebuilt the Malacca Sultanate.

We should add romance in our history books by having Hang Li Po falling in love with the Malacca Sultan. Perhaps we can rope in Indian history, too.

We want a sense of belonging instilled in everyone. We want everyone to feel that their forefathers had a share in the building of the nation.

Make it the responsibility of the headmaster to recruit more non-Chinese students in Chinese schools and the funding of these schools should be based on how successful the school is in getting the right quota.

No single school should be monopolised by any one particular race. Revamp the school syllabus to incorporate the 1Malaysia context and Chinese syllabus should be incorporated into the national school syllabus. How will this help deal with our brain drain problem? Again, it is about instilling self-pride and a sense of belonging.

Most people may say it’s about money. But time and again, we see many local medical specialists remaining in the country. This is because “there is no place like home”. Both my children are studying in London but they have never talked about migrating.

Many of their best friends are Chinese and so are mine. We don’t need slogans to choose our friends.

Keep meritocracy alive. No more "preference given to Bumiputras".

We don't want this as we lose our good friends because of this word.

Who can blame the non-Bumiputras if they choose to be part of the brain drain.

What the government should do is to provide better education from pre-school onwards, cheaper food, cheaper housing and lower taxes for cars.

Focus on improving the quality of life for all citizens.

Build more parks. Increase the “Happy Index” if there is one.

Let’s build the country together and stop harbouring hopes and wishes to live in another country.


PROF DR M. FAZILAH ABDUL SAMAD,
Faculty of Business and Accountancy
Universiti Malaya.


Source: The STAR Home News Opinion Saturday April 30, 2011

Lepasan pelajar MRSM diingat sebarkan ilmu

 KUALA LUMPUR: Pelajar lepasan Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM) diingatkan supaya tidak bongkak dengan ilmu yang diperoleh, sebaliknya sentiasa merendah diri serta berusaha menyebarkan ilmu itu kepada masyarakat.

Menteri Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, berkata ini penting kerana MRSM bukan sekadar komited melahirkan generasi muda berilmu, tetapi pada masa sama kaya nilai dan akhlak.

“MRSM selama ini berusaha memartabatkan ilmu dalam kalangan generasi muda dan ia menjadi keutamaan kerajaan. Saya ingin mengingatkan kepada pelajar supaya tidak berputus asa dan terus menimba ilmu.

“Janganlah pula sombong apabila berjaya sebaliknya sebarkan ilmu yang diperoleh kerana ilmu itu perlu dikongsi dengan orang lain,” katanya ketika berucap meraikan pelajar cemerlang MRSM pada Majlis Anugerah Pelajar Cemerlang Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2010 di sini, semalam.

Seramai 30 pelajar MRSM dari seluruh negara diraikan pada majlis berkenaan, manakala empat pelajar turut menerima Anugerah Al-Huffaz Program Ulul Albab.

Mohd Shafie turut mengingatkan ibu bapa agar tidak mengabaikan tanggungjawab dan amanah mendidik serta membimbing anak.

Sementara itu, Ketua Pengarah MARA, Ibrahim Ahmad, berkata institusi itu mewujudkan tiga program khas dalam sistem pendidikan agensi itu yang menumpukan aspek pendidikan pintar cerdas dengan pendekatan pembelajaran menerusi penemuan dan penyelidikan, integrasi ilmu sains dan tahfiz melalui Program Ulul Albab.

Ia turut memberi ruang kepada pelajar yang mengambil peperiksaan International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) supaya dapat mengikuti program di universiti di luar negara lebih awal lagi.

“MRSM memberi penekanan kepada Sains dan Matematik, tetapi kita turut mewujudkan program Ulul Albab kerana ingin melahirkan insan yang seimbang.

“Kita turut membuka satu MRSM berkonsepkan antarabangsa di Pekan untuk memberi peluang kepada pelajar menduduki SPM dan International Certificate of Cambridge. Tiga lagi MRSM di Parit, Johor Bharu dan Sandakan akan dibuka untuk tujuan sama,” katanya.



Sumber: Berita Harian Nasional 2011/04/30