Monday, November 20, 2006

Don't Blame Government for Unemployed

Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed had on Saturday called on the public to stop blaming the Government’s policies for these unemployed graduates. Minister of Human Resources, said that graduates should take the initiative to acquire skills needed for work in the private sector and not merely depend on the Government to provide them with courses. They were responding to comments made by delegates during the recent Umno general assembly on the quality of local graduates as many of them could not secure jobs upon leaving university.

So is it the Government's fault that there are that many unemployed graduates?

I agree that the government cannot be totally blamed for the graduates' predicament. However, I certainly wouldn't absolve them from blame altogether.

The government's policy has been to increase significantly the number of graduates over the past two decades without the necessary increase in quality support resources as well as lowering the standards in which students gain acceptance into the local universities. This quantity versus quality policy has played a large role in unemployed graduates, particularly from universities with excessively stretched resources, such as Universiti Teknologi Mara Malaysia (UiTM).

Despite the supposed switch to a "meritocratic system", the number of bumiputera students enrolling into public universities increased significantly from 55% to 62% in the current year. This has been achieved through the undesirable means of enlarging the undergraduate to such an extent that quality is substantially impaired. I can only imagine that the reason for such a policy is politically motivated to placate the bumiputeras that a "meritocratic" switch, had little impact on Malay enrolment. Even then, you have disgraceful menteri besars who are hell-bent on dismantling of the system.

Many of these students who enrolled into the local universities should instead have been granted opportunities to pick up industrial skills with polytechnics as opposed to more theoretical and academic courses in universities.

Other contributing factors to the decline in standards in the local universities include the Government's misguided policy in promoting the Malay academia at the expense of the non-Malays. This has clearly resulted in many quality lecturers and academics leaving the public universities and joining the private sector, as well as seeking greener pastures overseas. At the end of the day, such myopia has resulted in poorer academic environment for the universities, of which the bumiputera students forms the majority.

Hence it is only right for Dato Mustapa to state that "it is time we give priority to quality." Let's just hope that he will be able to improve the quality of the higher education system, and not just provide empty rhetoric.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is just another act of publicity. The UMNO GM had just recently concluded with plenty of issues touched.

I am very concerned with the short-sightness of our ministers, as in they only know how to deal with the current situation, how to rebuke public outcry, how to press the people and etc. They don't see the implication of their policy and act (or whatever rubbish you want to label them) to the society and country in general in the future.

The current situation of unemployed graduates is a very significant example of what i am trying to say. They only know how to provide temporary measurements, but they totally ignore the possible side effects of such intermittent policies. Try to shift yourself back two or three decades ago. At that time, they only want to create plenty of graduates because they thought that the amount of graduates gauges how developed we are. So what we have now? Other than pushing the blame to other parties (not political party) when problems arise, what else they know? We don't need to compare with another country (though i really wanted to, to Singapore) to realise the weaknesses of our leaders.

Perhaps it is really time to change. There is only two ways to go for. Either they change themselves or we change them (not by alerting them about such things, but to completely remove them from the office). Agree?

Anonymous said...

I place the blame squarely on the government and its shortsighted policies. No hesitation. People who are being told that they are graduates naturally look for jobs with graduate-like pay. While not willing to settle for lower-status technician-level jobs, these graduates are at the same time unfit for executive positions.

How can anyone convince me that the government is not aware of the repercussions of its policies? They are but, typically, hoping against hope that somehow, somewhere, through someone (probably God), everything will resolve themselves. When things cannot be resolved, as is bound to be the end result, they then disown responsibility and buat bodoh, buat tak tahu. I have always maintained that those who suffers the most, and will suffer still more, from silly policies are the Bumis. The rest of Malaysians are just collateral damage.

It is so very sad - the government build the many universities, they approve the courses, appoints no-names to its teaching staff, tells less-than-mediocre students that they should be in the university, give them all the scrolls eventually, then tells these graduates they themselves are all to blame for being unemployable. It is bad enough if the government is not able to do anything about it, but it becomes tragic when the government is not even aknowledging its responsibilities and errors.

Anonymous said...

OFF TOPIC

Does the presence of sulphate bacteria suppresses the activity of methane bacteria in anaerobic environment?

Can any one help with the above?

Anonymous said...

Well, it depends an the type of environment both of them are in.

SRB out-compete MPB at lower acetate concentrations. On the other hand, MPB were able to form faster than SRB at higher acetate concentrations presumably due to MPB's higher ability to adhere carrier surfaces compared with SRB.

Reference: MOTOYUKI YODA, MIKIO KITAGAWA and YUSHO MIYAJI, 1987

I suggest you get information from online journals rather than asking here.

Anonymous said...

If there are not enough jobs for the graduate, more graduates coming thro the system will only increase the number of unemployed graduates - common sense.

The responsibility of the govt is to maintain the balance of job opportunity and education through effective policies not some ill-thought agenda in the name of "agama, bangsa and negara". Isn't the current pathetic situation in Malaysia obvious?

Casper said...

"If there are not enough jobs for the graduate, more graduates coming thro the system will only increase the number of unemployed graduates - common sense."

Not necessary - highly qualified and trained in business/ecommerce graduates will be able to start their own business and create jobs for themself and others. What government can do here is to provide seed funding.

Well well.. if the government and UMNO doesn't want to be blamed then it should keep its hands out of all the IPT completely. But apparently such interference when it suits the gov/umno is irresitable and hence it also becomes irresistable for the public to blame the government when the graduates are unemployed (or unemployable).

But of course, graduates do not have responsibility also to take initiative to get themself employed, enhanced their skills etc. Really good grads will find no trouble finding employment just across the strait.

Anonymous said...

Casper,

I do not share your optimism to expect graduates to start their own business especially the type of education they received in Malaysia.

Seed funding may work well in developed countries but just too few successes to be viable to solve the chronic situation in Malaysia. Even if all the graduates are given the opportunity (including seed funding), statistics shows that less than 10% of all new business are trading after 2 years.

Bearing in mind most unemployed graduates are Malay, they are more likely to seek handouts and easy loans to be used, likely for personal gratification more than self sufficiency. After all, the effect of NEP and the clutch mentality isn't going away overnight.

Most entrepreneurs who made it did not have a degree.

DKR said...

I think the high levels of unemployment are due to many factors, some of which are under the governments control and some which are not. Pinning the blame solely on the government is an altogether myopic view. I do believe however, that government can do a whole lot more to improve the quality of graduates and ensure that there is good prospects for employment for graduates in the country. However, employment is also very much controlled by the law of supply and demand. The government cannot be expected to supply jobs (both directly and indirectly) to graduates. And besides, I still believe that there actually is an abundance of jobs in malaysia. I think it's up to the graduates to be more flexible and have a greter all rounded education which might make them more appealing to potential recruiters. Having said that, Malaysia has an unemployment rate that is quoted to be in the region of 3-4% which is very healthy. So i don't think there really is a problem.

Anonymous said...

Well, all the issues surrounding our government made me in doubt of any statistic coming out from them. Unemployment rate of 4%, then most of the people i met or known is the lucky 4%. They don't even dare to release the data on NEP. I can only say SORRY, i can't trust BN government anymore.

coleong said...

I agree that the highly qualified graduates have no problem finding job in malaysia or elsewhere. If the graduate do not possess high academic achievement, they should improve their skill in order to get into the job market. The job market is a very competitive place. If you're the best, you get it.

Anonymous said...

Whatever goes around comes around..

We cannot blame our undergraduates from IPTAs that they are weak in English... if the teaching materials, lectures notes and even exam are conducted in Bahasa Melayu..

It is an irony for the policy makers to absolve their responsibilities when they are the ones who dictate the language policy in the first place!

How we expect them (the graduands) to be proficient in English when the three years of their undergraduate programs are conducted in BM...

To further compound that...they have 11 to 12 years of primary and secondary edu in BM...

Oh God! Cant we see why?

We feed them in BM, and we expect them to regurgitate in English?

Mana boleh?? Where is the Logic?

Wake up, dear ministers!

Another wastage in taxpayers money..


Globalsan

dracula77 said...

Who turn public universities and colleges to 'degree factories'? 10 to 15 years back, ONLY smart students can apply for universities. Nowdays, as long as you have money, you definitely can get degree somewhere...Not enough universities, we have college universities, private colleges...etc..

The plan to upgrade universities college to universities is completely outrageous. What university with <10 000 students?? Can they pass international acreditation??? We are downgrading our quality...

Anonymous said...

Now degrees churned by our local government and private universities have similar values like our toilet paper rolls.....

alice.com said...

the world doesn't owe anyone a living just because he/she has a degree.

the committment to getting a good job after university and progressing thereafter requires a lot of effort and hard work.