Sunday, May 22, 2011

Proposed solution for Malaysian's brain drain

Every year in our wonderful country Malaysia, after SPM results are out, we would hear complains that top student are not offered scholarship but instead those certain group of people who are under-qualified got offered instead.

So, for those poor but top students,what can they do? since their own country don't want to help them, they get help from other countries that is willing to help them because they cherish talents. Other countries offer them scholarship, bond them for a few years, they got a decent job over there. Do you think they still want to return to their own mother country that didn't help them? and yet, their own mother country would label them as "Unpatriotic". Ironic isn't? Welcome to Malaysia!

Let's have an classic example, did you know that the pen drive is actually invented by a Malaysian? Mr. Pua Khein-Seng, which was rejected by local university set out for Taiwan. In the end, the pen drive was a "Taiwan Technology", instead of "Malaysian Technology"

The government seems to finally realized this issue, after so many years and waves of bombardment by the opposition party, the people and other international media. I believe this issue is serious to the point that the country itself has felt the effect of this brain drain.

So our dear PM setup Talent Corp in an effort to pull back our brain drain. It is funny because initially the country doesn't appreciate them but now they want them back by offering goodies. Goodies such as tax reduction etc. But hey, if they did this, it would be unfair to those talents that are currently residing in Malaysia!

Yo.. Dear PM & Talent Corp, instead of pulling back brain drain, you should stop brain drain, like not giving scholarship to some top students. It is more feasible and easier to retain compare to get them back. We learn this in economics, it is easier to retain existing customer rather to look for new ones.

Why government is afraid to give scholarship to top student since the scholarship comes with a working bond, the talents would still come back and contribute to Malaysia's growth.

Instead, they prefer to give scholarship to those un-deserved, which graduate with bad results and later become an unproductive worker, which doesn't contribute much to the country and yet still need government to feed them. It's a like spoon feeding a spoiled child that cannot stand on their own.

What does this mean then? Failed government policies that is suppose to help certain group to be more competitive ends up spoiling them. Instead of teaching them how to fish, the government just give feed them the fish.

The other ironic thing is that other minority which didn't received as much help as the government, due to this reason, they have no choice but to work harder in order to make a living and ends up with more competitive qualities than their spoon feed countrymen.

Of course, not everyone is like that. I'm just giving a general summary.

But then, government is made up of human being and human beings make mistake. This we can understand, the more important thing is that we need to correct the mistake to improve. The worst thing is that, government choose to keep one eye close and stubbornly don't want to admit their mistake. This is because, some of the current government officials themselves has been fully fed with fishes and they are too incompetent and dare not imagine that they would have to handle their own fishing rod.

Scholarship should only be given to those that is academically worthy. Meaning to say, if you got scholarship and yet you have bad results, the scholarship should be switch to loans that you'll need to pay back instead. If not, students would not appreciate it and take it for granted.

Think of it as an investment. Of course you want to invest on properties that would generate return for you, not invest on the property that doesn't generate return for you, and yet you'll still need to pump more money into it to keep it alive!

Let's think about it, 54 years of independence and yet our fellow countrymen still cannot be competitive? Let's just limit our scope to academic competitive. We have government sponsored primary and secondary school. But yet, how come privately sponsored vernacular school can produce better results?

Doesn't this mean the Education Ministry should look into why their government funded school cannot produce good result?

I do not expect the government would just abolish this current silly system of not giving scholarship to some top student due to "you know lar" reason. Unless we have a change of government, but then i think we should look into the roots of the problem, how to really make our fellow countrymen academically competitive.

Maybe i can humbly suggest a few.

1. Train teachers that knows how to fish, instead of teachers that take fish only. so that, they can teach the correct values and knowledge to their students.

2. Stress more on English. We see this very often. Many university graduates still can't speak a decent English. The situation has actually worsen compare to our previous generation that received English education from British colony era. In order to be competitive in today's world. English is a must. Mastery of English is the key and stepping stone to access the world's knowledge.

3. Stress more on Maths. Economy is run by business, business consist of figures, figures you need maths. It is another compulsory knowledge to be competitive beside English.

4. Stress more on secular studies. Religious studies feeds your spirit, but it doesn't feed your stomach. Over dosage of religion and over hunger is the formula for extremist. But hey, i'm not saying we should scrap religion, just that we should focus more time on reality.

7. Beside of just spoon feeding our students with knowledge, i believe we need to teach them creative thinking as well. We should inject creativity thinking into our existing subjects, to encourage student to think outside of the box. Of course, this is a less priority at the moment. We need to pump up more English + Maths first.

6. Organize joint school events during holidays that mix with other races. It's like a company team building. If you don't mix with other races, you'll have stereotype perceptions and distrust.

7. Gradually, we need to merge and unified our school. I'm not talking about the National School which puts one malay school, one indian school and one chinese school in the same compound. I don't think this actually work. All these school leaders should sit down and plan for a unified education subjects. Haha, i know it's gonna be hard. But i believe this is as important as what our fore fathers sit down and discuss the founding of Malaysia. We give and take, set our differences aside in order to pave way for a better future together.

I believe only if we can improve the quality of our students in primary and secondary school level, then only we can have a really fair, competitive and transparent method of allocating scholarship to top students. I believe this is the first step we can do to stop the brain drain.