Tag Archives: Universities

29% of Malaysian Youth in Universities

Was reading through a Star article about Universities being given “more autonomy to transform the face of education“, and then in the second last paragraph it said:

Earlier, Abdullah said the country had done fairly well in delivering higher education, with 29% of Malaysians aged between 18 and 23 in universities.

Wow, somehow that seems incredibly low to me. This could be for various reasons. One could be due to the distinction between a college and a university, which might constitute for the low number.

Well with the increasing rise of “University Colleges” would these students be counted into the statistics?

Or when these University Colleges, get granted University status, will there be a spike in the number of Malaysians attending University?

I wonder whats the reason for the low number.

Note: 95% of statistics are lies, but this wouldn’t be something you’d want to be telling the truth about!

ICT Education in Malaysia

Is ICT is the solution to everything eh? The silver bullet? Install ICT and we will get a blossoming economy beyond our wildest imaginations. Get real. Or so the Star reports that there should be a review of non-ICT promoting curriculum.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called for a review of the school curriculum if it does not serve the purpose of promoting Information Communication Technology (ICT) usage in schools.

He said the curriculum should reflect the desire to produce thinkers and incorporate the use of ICT as a means to harness the wealth of information available on the information highway.

And what would serve this best? I bet you people know.

That’s right, at least for me I think that the use of Free and Open Source Software, Open Content, and Open Standards would be the enabler for this. These are the catalyst in the 21st century for a Free Culture.

Why? Because it promotes the sharing of information. Collaboration. Not just ICT related but all encompassing, and it does not limit it self to one person.

Najib also said that ICT must be part of the student’s living and working culture and he asked schools to find ways to make the Internet easily accessible to students even after school session.

Well for starters, people need to understand that the tides are changing. Censoring bloggers? No no, that won’t work. Get realistic, the old need to not only understand the Internet, but also embrace how it can empower people. Do not fear it.

But how do you make those reading materials available after school session? Especially when broadband is so poor in the country. How about making it freely available on a CD or a book? That is what people have done with the Wikipedia project.

Najib said that teachers in smart schools must adopt ICT as a lifestyle, speak English and exhibit their capacity for analytical thinking if they expected these qualities from their students.

What does ICT have to do with English? Sure most people doing ICT speak English. But there is a lot of work that has been done in to translate software into Malay language, how about picking up those efforts and rolling them out into schools. Especially when the software is free, reliable and good software. The cost savings are immense.

Sure ICT can help, but you limit its potential by not understanding how you can release its true potential.

My several cents.

The Long Uphill Battle

For my previous article about the roll out of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007, I tried googling for the agreement between the Higher Education Ministry and Microsoft.

What I found instead was the Education Home site for Microsoft. At the bottom of the page was a link to “Download the latest Malaysia Partners in Learning Report“. Well curiosity got the better of me, so I downloaded it and the statistics scared me.

76,000   — No. of teachers/leaders trained
2,280,000   — No. of students trained/reached
10,000   — No. of schools participating in the PiL program

Just to put some things in perspective, Malaysia’s population is 26 million. So that would put about 9.06% of the population of Malaysia participated in this.

Sure it may just be a battle of numbers (and marketing), but those are some HUGE numbers.

For example, the teachers/leaders may just be ‘trained’ but who knows how many actually passed, or are good. Unless they publicized statistics on those and scare the pants off of me.

Its nice to see that Microsoft is helping Education in Malaysia, but at the same time it is scary to see how much proliferation they have.

Let’s see, how many people did I reach out to last year? At least 200+ at PC Fair alone. Other times during the year, say maybe even an optimistic number is 300. Looks like I have a long way to go…