No place for ‘useless’ subjects
Published on: Sunday, December 29, 2019
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IN Asian cultures, education is seen to determine a person’s intelligence and ability. And when a person is equipped with excellent English language skills, it is a definite plus point as this is often associated with social status. Upon completing secondary school, those with average results are recommended to continue to pursue higher education, while those with below average results join the workforce.

For those who opt for university education, they will choose either a private or public institution. The end goal for both is the same — to obtain education credentials. What differs would be the cost, experience and total duration.

It takes a minimum of three academic years to earn a bachelor’s degree. Every two to three months, the bill for the cost would be sent to the student’s account. In order to reduce the family’s financial burden, some students are forced to work part-time. However, a degree does not guarantee a job in current times. As digital technology evolves, the industries are ramping up their requirements in screening for talents.

Two of the major issues faced by graduates are their soft and hard skills.

Generally, the prime soft skills would be communication skills and teamwork. Both are correlated and determine the role and contribution of an employee in a company.

English language proficiency is an important consideration as it is the medium of communication in conducting business in most companies. Meanwhile, Industrial Revolution 4.0 is taking shape across all industries, but has our tertiary education system been able to keep up?

Throughout the entire three years spent in the university, half of the subjects require good memorisation to retain obsolete theories and history for the purpose of passing the examinations. The subjects learnt from textbooks might be outdated. In addition, not all courses require students to attend internship.

These further increase the gap in understanding the working environment and in preparing students for real-life work situations. A three-month internship with a single company clearly cannot provide enough time for students to learn and improve themselves in the workplace.

Furthermore, university students need to go through general studies.

A better suggestion would be replacing these subjects with those relevant to the current demands of the industry, such as providing insight into current technology adoption in Malaysia and how to make use of data.


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