Many, many years ago, in the last millenium, when Lulu used to work in a kilang, one of my execs told me that he saw his uni mate on the production floor. This friend of his, passed out of UUM, but because it was 1999 and there was a bad recession then, he could not get a job. After months of mengangguring, he decided to jadi mat kilang [dunno if there's such a term, but i guess this would be the male equivalent to minah kilang]. He asked my colleague not to tell anyone that he's actually a degree holder.
Now, many many years later, Lulu has a vacancy in her department. It is an admin/clerical position, and does not require a degree holder to do the work.
I passed word around, and have since received some resume from friends of the girls in my dept.
Needless to say, there are a few degree holders amongst them. Mostly from the election-promise universities and UiTM.
One candidate passed out of UiTM with a Dip in Accountancy in 2002, and up to today, is still working part-time at his family's restaurant as a waiter and chef.
Another has a degree in Business Computing, graduated in 2004, and has been working as a clerk since.
In moments like these, Lulu gets very angry with the government's policy to churn out as many graduates as they can even though they can't.
Why does Lulu say they can't?
1. The candidates either do not have the intellectual capacity, or they have been robbed of their potential when they were given the easy way out when they were young. When a child is given a more slack grading curve, their capacity is neither challenged nor stretched in its formative years.
2. Lack of teaching staff
Ministry of Higher Education list out 18 IPTA . Ten years ago, Lulu thinks there were only half that number. The explosion of IPTA did not come with an explosion of academics. I don't even want to talk about the quality of the teaching staff.
Maybe Higher Education in Malaysia is still in it's infancy.
Maybe we're like China in the early 80s - mass manufacturing low quality products
or Japan in the 70s - Milo tin can cars.
Maybe 20 years later, we'll rise like China and Japan.
But how can we succeed if we do not strive to improve.
and in the meantime, young kids like Mr Sarafen and Ms Suhaida will leave their kampungs for universities, carrying with them the family's dream and aspiration that there will be a graduate in the family, that they'll pergi KL, dapat kerja sebagai eksekutif and move one notch up the social ladder only to find out 4 years later their "education" is not respected by potential employers rendering them not good enough for "executive" work and too good for clerical work.
Sad, isn't it?