Monday, July 30, 2007

RM1.1 billion for motivational courses for students?

I think there must be a typo in this Star report. "The Government has allocated RM1.1bil for motivational courses for students in all parliamentary constituencies in the country, Deputy Information Min-ister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi."

This is almost equivalent to the RM1.2billion in the 9MP allocated for the training of PhDs for lecturers in our public universities. This works out to almost RM5 million per parliamentary constituency. But even if this was a typo, I don't think the Ministry of Information should have anything to do with organizing motivational speaking courses for students at any level (primary, secondary or tertiary). This is clearly out of the purview of this Ministry.

I would have suspicions even if it was the Ministry of Education or the MOHE who were responsible for organizing these courses.

Firstly, these courses are notoriously difficult to define. How does one define what a motivational course is? What kind of curriculum does this entail? What kind of 'practical' training does a student have to go through?

Secondly, these courses are difficult to teach. I'm sure that the MOE don't train their teachers to conduct 'motivational' courses. I'm also quite sure that the Ministry of Information doesn't have a staple of full time employees who are 'qualified' to teach motivational courses. There's a reason why people such as Anthony Robbins command such a high premium - it's because there are few people of his 'stature' in the motivational speaking world.

Thirdly, the results or effectiveness of these courses are notoriously difficult to measure. Unlike other subjects which can be more objectively tested, how does one test one's knowledge of self-motivation methods, for example?

The allocation for such large sums of money (if indeed the amount report was NOT a typo) only opens more doors for the possibility of patronage and misallocation of resources i.e. bribery and corruption.

Personally speaking, I'm quite agnostic in regards to the effectiveness of 'motivational' courses and / or speakers. I think that most of these large group sessions involving 'star' motivational speakers such as Anthony Robbins probably gives those who attend a short term 'boost' to their motivational levels which runs out sooner rather than later. (I also think that it's a tremendous waste of money)

I'm more critical of the techniques used by groups such as Asiaworks which specializes in large group awareness training (LGAT) that seem cult-like in nature. I'm sure that an announcement of this nature would catch the ears of such organizations, which would love to be awarded these contracts.

If individuals and private organizations / corporations want to organize motivational courses for their employees or for themselves, I have no problems with that. What I have a problem with is the expenditure of tax payers money on an educational 'venture' which has little to do with the purposes of education itself.

12 comments:

Sam Leong said...

My goodness!! That is seriously a huge amount of money!!

Anonymous said...

I dont think it is a typo. As usual, looks like another attempt to "quick-fix" the collapsed educational system.

Any remedial action is good but, given the history, I expect it to be just more money poured down the longkang.

Anonymous said...

Apa gaduh? Negara kita teramat kaya! Kita bolih bina jembatan dan terowong retak dan bangunan megah yg bocor!
Pasti ada kumpulan tertentu yg mendapat keuntungan!
Spend! Spend!

Anonymous said...

No mistake. The power mongers love to start a new project with a huge budget, so that the bulk of the allocation will flow/leak into some people's pockets.
Happy time is here again!!

clk said...

Motivation course in M'sia has always been seen by many as a Govt propaganda tool.

It is probably another attempt to "brainwash" students like many other camps/ kem organised for various groups using tax payers funds.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we also now have the new Northern Corridor. Add that to the present Eastern Corridor and the Southern Corridor, plus the Multimedia Super Corridor, plus Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, the entire nation is one long series of failed corridors.

Soon, all the States' boundaries would be removed and replaced with Corridors. Additional ones could be Central Corridor, Western Corridor (which completes all the main points of the compass). Of course, we may then find further guidance from the compass by having subdivisions like "North- East Corridor", "South West Corridor", "North By North-East Corridor" etc, etc.

Wow. Malaysia memang boleh.

macam-macam koridor said...

Remember the more corridors the merrier, 'cos all corridors lead to the pockets of the chosen few (Malays and their non-Malay lapdogs).

Bitbot said...

Putting the politics involved aside, in the first place we already have motivational courses in schools called "Program Maju Diri" which students over the years have come to nickname "Program Mampus Diri" or "Program Membosankan Diri". These nicknames are a result of students' lack of interest in motivational courses.

As a student myself, it'd be better if the government spent the money improving teacher training courses to focus more on creativity & critical thinking instead of spoonfeeding / increasing the salary of teachers so that they'll be motivated to educate students better / hiring more teachers to reduce the lack of teacher problem in the country.

Anonymous said...

It doesnt matter! Giving courses is one easy way for rakyat money to be transferred,
Even our universities nowadays are full of courses ( incl meals, accomodation provided free) At the end of the day do you think those courses will make any difference to the quality of work???
Naaaah!!!

Just wait till our coffers are dry...

Anonymous said...

Waste money. I can guarantee that 70% if that amount will ended up in somebody's pocket. Where is the clean government vowed by Badawi four years ago?

Anonymous said...

Yeah... agree... same with the implementation of BTN... for every sorts of groups...

More like a "brainwash" session especially the BTN for those who are going to study overseas....

Won't it be considered as some sort of motivational session?... waste of money?... that one depends on who define it i.e. the programme and gain benefit from it... :D

dogdog369 said...

this will be the best way to dig money from our national mine.
No standard price for a motivational course...
if charge @ RM 10 000 per headcount.
it's actually not much!