The Malaysian Education Dilemma

The Malaysian Education Dilemma

Malaysian teaching methods have changed little since the establishment of the Penang Free school in 1816, with students still sitting in classrooms with pencils and pads of paper, writing what teachers tell them to.

The stagnation of our teaching methods has led to the lack of innovation amongst students and teachers in the country.

The turn of the millennium has led to countless technological innovations. In the past 10 years, social, transportational, industrial, and administrative technologies have grown by leaps and bounds.

But for some reason, there has been no significant technological change in the teaching methods of Malaysian education in the past century. Education, seen to be one of the most important foundations of a developing country, has effectively been put on hold.

Studies have shown that technology and media can enhance early childhood practice when integrated into the environment, curriculum, and daily routines.

This is because the use of technology contributes to the stimulation of the brain during early childhood, making information easily understandable and entertaining.

The same study also found that technology is an effective tool for dual language learners because it provides features that allow students to practice secondary languages which they would otherwise not be able to do outside their classrooms. Useful in a bi-lingual society such as Malaysia.

The lack of development of the local education system becomes apparent when we compare ourselves to the advanced teaching technology that some Western European and Asian countries have been using for years.

Countries such as the Netherlands, have incorporated technology into their education system and since been ranked one of the top ten performing countries in science, math and reading scores.

South Korea, another country that topped the lists, incorporates projectors and electronic flashcards into all their public schools. Singapore, our neighbour and the country that took first place in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rankings, provides laptops for public school students.

Malaysia on the other hand, came in at a dismal 52 out of 76 ranked countries on the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s education quality list.

Another study focusing on mathematics and science showed Malaysia scoring 465 in mathematics and 471 in science. Other nations worldwide have scored an average of 500 points.

There have, of course, been attempts by the Malaysian government to bring local public schools into the 21st century, such as 1Bestari Net which aimed to provide 4G connectivity to 10,000 schools. However, the government contract, slated to run up a cost of RM4.077 billion over the course of 15 years, has since been described by the Public Accounts Committee to be “failed”.

Since then, private companies have been taking matters into their own hands and crafted their own education models designed for early childhood development. One of these companies is Eduspec.

In an age where digital literacy has become a mandatory job skill, Eduspec emphasizes on guiding early childhood educators and students in the use, integration, and evaluation of technology.

Eduspec has launched three main courses in Malaysia so far, computational thinking, robotics and coding for primary schoolers. The programs have been crafted with the consultation of experts on early childhood education from Carnegie Mellon University.

Has the Malaysian education system come to a point where we must rely on private companies to bring it into the future?

Career paths opted by Malaysian parents

Career paths opted by Malaysian parents

Top 10 Career Paths of 2016

Malaysian parents picked out for their kid

Afterschool.my website has published their top 10 list of courses most viewed by families in Malaysia. (Source: Afterschool.my)

#10. Aviation

Despite recent plane crashes, the urge for human to travel or fly remains strong.

Didn’t make the chart in 2014 (because you know why). But quickly making a comeback in 2015 and 2016.

#9. Pharmacy

Job mobility, stability, flexibility. Need I say more?

Pharmacy has always been close to the top 10 chart in recent years. But this year, students interest in the field had improved.

#8. Computer Science

The dream to insanely make a lot of money online lives on.

In 2014, the field wasn’t as popular on Aftrerschool.my. However, in 2015 it picked up significant steam; and in 2016 it is in the top 10 list.

#7. Actuarial Science

Top paid jobs with high demand in the marketplace.

Actuarial science was one of the most researched courses on Afterschool.my in 2014. But this course didn’t make it to the top 10 last year. This year, actuarial science picked up steam because prospects are looking better again.

#6. Business & Marketing

Who wouldn't want to see their son all grown up in a suit?

Not even in the top 10 in 2014, this course has suddenly jumped to #5 last year. This year, you guys – our cool students – have shown slightly less interests.

#5. Biomedical Sciences

Give back to the people. Give back to the environment.

Students are opened to the opportunities in various fields like medicine, pharmacology, lab technologies, information technology in healthcare, communicating and educating the public, law, and environmental impacts. Therefore, the interest is understandably higher than before.

#4. Psychology

No monkey business. New jobs are created for workplace psychology everyday.

Students are smarter and capable of understanding the importance of psychology in the marketplace. Institutions that provide studies in this field are helping parents and students understand even better.

#3. Medicine

What parents wouldn't want their child to be a doctor, right?

Health is one of the most important aspects that contributes to the longevity of human and directly impacts productivity. Traditional and Veterinary Medicine are also on the rise.

#2. Accounting & Finance

There are worse job than counting money.

Tons of scholarships dedicated to increase the talent pool in this field. Competition also gets greater every year.

Top 1

#1. Chemical Engineering

Does your eyes sparkle when someone tells you he works in the Oil and Gas industry?

Oil and Gas industry isn’t the only field closely related to Chemical Engineering. But the riches in this industry (in dollar signs) is certainly a compelling reason for many.

Do you agree with the choices your parents made for you? Or did you make your own choices? Tell us your story.

MCKL Alumnus amongst Most Innovative Engineers in Australia

MCKL Alumnus amongst Most Innovative Engineers in Australia

For many young Malaysians, simply gaining entry into a university overseas is enough of an ambition. For the hardworking few, receiving awards in prestigious universities overseas may be more of a reality than most dare to dream.

Damien Balachandran completed his A Level studies in Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL) in 2008, and proceeded with a Bachelor of Engineering at Australian National University (ANU) with the International Undergraduate Scholarship Award. Upon graduating from there, Damien began working as a Hardware Engineer at Seeing Machines and was recently named one of Australia’s most innovative engineers for his role in developing ‘Guardian’, a product that can manage driver fatigue through computer vision.

In recognition of MCKL’s contribution to Damien’s personal and academic growth, his father wrote to MCKL to express his endorsement and gratitude:

“…This was his stepping stone which took him to complete his Hons in Engineering at Australian National University in Canberra. He graduated in 2012 and was chosen as the graduated speaker. From here he was offered employment as an undergraduate in Seeing Machines based in Canberra.

“We as parents of Damien made the right choice in choosing MCKL for his foundation studies. Thanks to all lecturers in nurturing him for achievements.”

Students who have similar aspirations may consider enrolling for MCKL’s courses such as the Cambridge A Level, Western Australian Matriculation, American Degree Transfer Programme, Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Diploma in Social Work or Accounting Studies (ACCA). Scholarships are available for deserving students. For further information on MCKL and its programmes: call 03-22746711 (Marketing) or 03-22741851 (General), email [email protected] or visit our website www.mckl.edu.my.