Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Academia Dilemma

Call it an 'annual sandiwara', someone said.

The announcement of UPU results, which is to come anytime soon is expected to usher in the usual headaches, the predictable complaints and the stale aftermath sympathy as well.

Public outcry and highly publicised government intervention seem to be the only 2 effective ways to stop a student's woes of gaining university entry nowadays. Any special mention of providing a proper review on the selection of students' entrance to universities; is painstakingly, yet poorly clouded by the Higher Education Ministry's public stint on 'meritocracy'.

The Ministry had better be more creative than this. And setting up a Commission to conduct an independent study on the Ministry's ineffienciency and murky criterion selection (lack of transparency is simply an understatement here) is just going to trigger another fascinating conversation topic in mamak stalls, at most.

Nevertheless, the Ministry has my semi-sincere sympathies. After all, the course of their careless actions in grading the examination papers have triggered a wave of over-expectations on the part of the students. Blinded by the 'A's, the students lack the wisdom to discern between enrolling for a degree program which they are interested in and the degree program which looks good on their future resume. Most end up doing the latter, resorting to newspaper headlines in order to get what they felt they deserved; as though funding for their 'glamorous-sounding ambitions' was the taxpayers' only and primary obligation. So, who's the bigger movie star here?

I am not mocking or demeaning the woes of students. I believe that all students who have done well deserve to be enrolled into the courses of their choices, especially when good grades seem to be the obvious benchmark to gaining such entry. However, I do not condone to acts of using the media by both sides to push for a public outcry for actions to be taken. Which is why, the proverb "prevention is better than cure" speaks volumes in addressing this issue.

Government, play your part- give us a clear criterion selection rulebook and perhaps, allow universities to conduct interviews with students to stream-line the faculty's choice of students as a critical selection process for the university itself, if judging the students' academic capabilities alone is not enough to grant university entrance to the deserving ones. In the future, the universities would be able to produce graduates of quality, rather than mass-producing half-baked, half-dead graduates that need to live miserably off the Goverment's plan B in sustaining these graduates because they don't make the cut in the working world.

Students, be realistic- Not being given a scholarship for overseas education by the Government does not equal to having your dreams dashed. Fight, if you must; if you truly think you deserve a spot in that degree program you have worked so hard for, to get into it. Nevertheless, discern your motivation in getting into that much-valued spot in university. Do you want it because you are passionate about it or because other people want it or because it makes you look good? Whichever motivation other than the first one mentioned; does not make you any more deserving than one who can get into a medical school despite having done poorly in his examinations.

The public is looking forward to yet another sadistic monkey show out of university entry. Does this mean both the government and the students are to give them again and again?

I would be more than happy to eat my own words- and the newspapers headlines for breakfast.


Blogger fooji said...

Saya sangatlah bersetuju.

1:14 PM  

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