Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fancy winning a Proton Savvy?

I know, I know, it's a Proton car but from what I've heard, the Savvy is a pretty popular model with relatively long waiting lines. How do you win this car, you ask? And what does this have to do with education in Malaysia? Well, read on.

The Perdana Leadership Foundation, is organising an essay writing competition for secondary and tertiary students entitled 'Nurturing the Minds of Future Leaders'.

From the Foundation's press statement:

"Lower secondary (Form One to Three) students are to submit essays on the contribution of one of Malaysia’s past prime ministers (700 to 1,000 words).

Upper secondary (Form Four to Six) students are to focus on methods to develop a united Malaysian nation (1,000 to 1,500 words).

For undergraduates (under 25 years old), their essays must discuss five lessons learnt from Malaysia’s history (from Merdeka to the present day) in 1,500 to 2,000 words."

The prizes seem pretty attractive. Again from the Foundation's press statement:

"Apart from the grand prizes of a Savvy, scooter and bike for the undergraduate, upper secondary and lower secondary categories respectively, laptops, mobile phones, iPods, MPH book vouchers and savings certificates are also up for grabs.

The top winners will also get to do “work shadowing” at a corporation nominated by the foundation.

The schools of these winners will also win a computer workstation"

I think it's always interesting to examine the thoughts and mindsets of the younger generation given that they've grown up in different political, economic and societal settings than us and hopefully, are less cynical, more hopeful and have more "out of the box ideas" in looking at Malaysia's history and applying it to our country's future.

I hope that the winners would be ones who give us original and creative ways of answering the questions posed by the respective essay titles rather than ones which puts forth the same old ideas in good, well-written English (not that writing well ought not to be encouraged). I'm just afraid that essays which are slightly more 'critical' and 'non-mainstream' would be disregarded because it might be perceived as going against the thinking of the Foundation or even going against some of the mainstream ideas of former Prime Ministers! This shouldn't be the case. After all, isn't critical thinking part of the purpose of this essay competition?

I've put across some of these thoughts to a friend of mine who works at the Foundation. Hopefully, the essay of the winners, when they are announced (closing date is December 31st), will be posted on the Foundation's website and we'll be able to see that they express a diverse range of ideas and thoughts.

Good luck!

4 comments:

the legend said...

great ...

good effort dude...
hopefully it will going smoothly...

Anonymous said...

just curious says..

2,000 words only ah for undergrads level? easy meat man..

the way youngsters blog nowadays...surely they can write as easily for essay competitions..if the mind is focus and some research done..

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Wah...Institute Putra hijacking this blog!