Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Our Education System

As our nation is so busy of our political scenarios update, but as for me otherwise. I looked at most critical factor in our country in producing more and best knowledge age worker. Why is Knowledge Age worker so important in moving one nation? The answer is simple. It is the knowledge that they have. Why knowledge is so important actually? I thought we have all the necessary knowledge as we are experiencing Knowledge age economy. I would believe that is not so true. Well, you may ask, what does it got to do with Our Education System? Of course there is a reason....

Quoting a book of Mobilizing Minds by Lowell L.L Bryan and Claudia L.I Joyce, will tell us more the effect of having the right intellectual minds as an individual will yield benefits unlimited. The authors believe that the great majority of businesses are under performing precisely because their most important intangible assets – the ideas and creativity of their knowledge workers – are unwittingly suppressed by the way in which these businesses are set up to operate.

“Trying to run a company in the 21st century with an organising model designed for the 20th century places limits on how well a company performs,” they write. “The plagues of the modern company are hard-to-manage workforce structures, thick silo walls, confusing matrix structures, e-mail overload and ‘undoable jobs’.”
Having studied the performance of the most successful businesses, Bryan and Joyce conclude that “thinking-intensive” companies do best when they unleash talent rather than constrain it.

And looking at a new measure, profitability per employee, is a useful discipline towards raising overall levels of performance. “Profit per employee is a good proxy for earnings on intangibles,” the authors say.
It should become the most important measure of success, ahead even of returns on capital. That should be looked at “just to ensure that they are sufficient to cover the costs of capital,” Bryan and Joyce say.

The numbers involved are not trivial. “If a company with 300,000 employees can add $13,333 of “rents” per employee (that is, earnings requiring no additional employment of capital or labour), by reducing unproductive complexity, it can add $4bn in additional earnings,” the authors argue. They estimate that this could add as much as $40bn in market capitalisation. I concur it is an awesome numbers for an organization that understood and tapping this great money-making opportunity.

We then come back to reflect our current education system in promoting great intellectual individual. I was one of the products of the nation education system. However, I did not feel proud nor hate the way I was educated. Partly, because the system in such a place put too much tuition as the "drug" to power up our academic performance in school. This phenomena spread over from Singapore actually. Whilst they have this tuition phenomena, the Lion City still recognized worldwide as having a full-proof education system. Putting too much relying on tuition can be very devastating. School teachers will no longer have any passion in teaching the right things to the students. Infact, my younger cousin sister told me that, it was pointless to attend class in school, as it was being advice by the teacher itself to learn more during your tuition. How pathetic our school teachers behave nowadays.....?

During early 80's tuition was never a hot topic compared today. We adopted 3M technique (READ-WRITE-CALCULATE). It used to be a very efficient way in learning. It ensured we have good grasp in ability to write and read as well as able to do our math. Sometime later the concept of learning change into another model that claimed promotes effectiveness of learning. I could not recall what model was it, and of course it ended one model that I understand, MEMORIZING. Most Malaysia students have great capability in memorizing facts. As the matter of fact any subjects will mostly use memorizing.

Memorizing is a great method as it trained and teaches our brain to perform work-out consistently. It enabled us to utilize more oxygen into our brain to perform the crucial job. All these activities will be done during for one reason, for examination purpose. I too utilized this great god creation ability most of the time for exam. I did a pretty good job when I make full use of my brain to do memorizing. As time goes by, the effectiveness of our brain to memorize all kinds of stuff degraded slowly. Is it because I lack of nutrition of Gingko Biloba? Obviously not, it is because of the technique of learning has changed now.

Most parents may agree what I mentioned therefore sending their child for additional lesson in preparing them for future uncertainty. I admired the proactiveness of such parents. We forgot today there are more than additional lesson that able to fulfill the great intellectual individual. Using memorizing technique is not completely wrong, but it is an approach would soon be no longer proven competitive. If you noticed that my earlier paragraph about the book, there is a huge disconnection between the knowledge age economy compare to the type of education that we have gained.

After some observation from each developed country of US, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, India and China, the education method they deployed emphasizing on human capital development. In short is about building human intellectual capability. One of the items that most student needed to be excel would be research skill. We only learn research skill in our tertiary education. However, we do not realise research skill are taught at pretty young age elementary school children. They are taught now to find out why such object or an animal behave such a manner. Of course children without fearful explore the reason and find out ways and alternative in hoping to find an answer. Ever notice children are skillful in asking questions. They never stop asking questions as they are curious to find out the underlying answer.

I believed in the end we not only need to learn about research skills, we need to adopt other ways of learning too. Traditional education is overemphasized on intellectual quotient. We now need to teach our children the another approach in emotional intelligence quotient subsequently social intelligence. Social intelligence adopted from the way how we make full use of our IQ from a EQ point of view in expressing out via different type of communications. They need to learn about how to appreciate our environment being formed and created. The needs of being green is absolutely essential as we are facing climate challenge.

Therefore, it is not about scoring A's that matter most. It is about how adopting and making full use of our knowledge learn in producing things that value most besides getting good grades. I could not deny that it is an uphill task to address this matter. Today each graduates required good character, right attitude, excellent in communication skill, good problem solving skill, ability to be think-out-of-the box, great planning and execution skill. If you would ask me, where to acquire those skills. I would answer you need to get it the hard-knock way. You won't get it via traditional education system, even the prestigious top 10 business school in the world will offer little such knowledge.

It is an eye - opener, for whenever I want to share about education systems in our country. How far the gap between our education system and workforce demand skill? In my opinion, still far and wide. It takes many years to address this chronic issue. I do hope the government is looking into it now...merely, a hope.I will write more detail about what kind of education system should be put in place as robust, agile and flexible as possible..

1 comment:

Outcast said...

Undoubtedly, the education system has to restructure. The first place to start is to change the person in charge in the department who is Hisshamuddin. Let the experienced teacher take over his seat. Politician doesn't know how to run the education system because he never teach anyone before and i bet he never heard of rousseau, montessori, and the philosophy of pragmatist.

Well, as u mention about the "memorizing" method, it consider as the pillars of all education system in our country. In the beggining of the early education in our country, which is the pondok school, the main curriculum is memorizing text from the al-quran and reciting prayers. So, in my opinion, Hishamuddin and his descendants unwillingly wanted to get rid off this method as it is consider the important part in education. LOL!

Last but not least, i hope in future our education system will change significantly. What i hope to see is 50% theory and 50% practical from what the students have learn. We are not in 19th century anymore, HISHAMUDDIN, U ARE NOT CAPABLE. Our people need to keep up the pace in this modern world.