"I believe in a country where hard work and merit, not privilege or background, determines success."
Tony Blair 2005

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Liberalise young minds

I read Marina Mahathir's article in The Star with great interest. Her belief that teaching young minds about new ideas should begin at an early stage of their education. Leaving it to the university will probably be way too late. But late is better than never I suppose.

Those that have been through the local education system will attest to the fact that freedom of ideas and expression is not always welcomed. Any deviation from the syllabus will be deemed as recalcitrant inviting demerit points. One is taught what the Government or some powers-that-might-be, feels is the right thing. Stifling fresh ideas or renewed ideology is the task of administrators and academicians, backed by political forces.

Unfortunately when one goes into the real world, unfamiliar territory strikes fear and maladaptibility has resulted in poor performance with many fresh graduates failing to make themselves marketable. Marina's point that English will be the forte for marketability invites fresh debate about the quality of English among graduates. When some top academicians in our local varsities cannot hold a full conversation in proper English, one wonders if this is reflective of the graduates as well.

For local universities to shine, acedemicians and university administrators should never stifle ideas be it critical or otherwise. Debating sensitive ideas with maturity marks the arrival of an era of a developed nation. Resorting to school-day tactics of silencing critics will delay the march towards progress.

Despite the presence of an august parliament, many debates are not fought with decorum. Issues deemed sensitive are shoved aside and the debates that do happen are fraught with profanities and unsolicited interferences. Debating with professionalism backed by sound knowledge of the topic at hand should be the intended achievement. Sadly, many elected members lack simple insight and are elected based on a loose criteria, giving the electorate little choices.

I do not place much hope on the current generation of politicians but there is renewed energy emanating from the young, where public debates are being slowly embraced. Anwar Ibrahim vs Shabery or Guan Eng vs Tsu Koon, these are fruitful debates that not only allows the public to gain insightful impressions about their leaders but will certainly help them judge their performances as vocally imprinted.

Written media is not much help in terms of fair reporting. Even the blogosphere can be sometimes deceptively biased. But there is more choices now, thanks to the era of the internet, where ideas are abundant. This has hastened globalisation.

Malaysia needs to compete with countries and therefore repealing repressive laws, thus liberalising the minds of our citizens is paramount to nurturing a powerful nation. A nation that is not bound by fear but the thought that their potential can unearth limitless power.

It certainly begins with how we educate our young.


Post a Comment

<< Home

About Me
Mail & IM

My status

drcheah 17391153

This site is powered by the ICQ2Go Panel © 2002 ICQ Inc. All Rights Reserved. Use of ICQ2Go Panel is subject to the ICQ Terms of Service.

Guestbook & MISC

The GMBL [?]
[random go!] Add me!

Powered by Blogger

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Also Contributes to

Generate your own e-mail logo here