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Education is rapidly in Malaysia since independence. Education in Malaysia consist five stages of education which are pre-school, primary education, secondary education, tertiary education and post-graduate education. Education can be seen as the process which is transmits its knowledge, values and skills from one generation to the next generation. In this education is not used only to instill the values and norms of a given society. Different forms of education have different stucture of learning that define the learning process.
Education is as a tool to reduce poverty, restructure the economy and to raise the standard of living for the people in this country. The government must take a serious stand of the on the development of higher and smooth education to work transition. Education is one of the most important investment that country can make it to reducing poverty and inequality.
With education, it give a people critical skills and tools to help them better to provide for themselves and their children. Besides, it can helps people to work better and create opportunities for sustainable economic growth now and into the future. Girls and boys who learn to read, write and count will provide a better future for families and country. In short, education has the power that can make the world a better place.
The raising of quality education in the country is critical for Malaysia to achieve a high performing education system which provides the human capital needed for a high income economy. It is important to ensure the stability of the individual in social function whereas good education gives way to the status of a job and a good salary, contribute positively to the sosioeconomy impact and generate psychological development. Many of issue that faced by Malaysia’s education system in managing the transition of those who complete their studies as they enter the world of work such as the problem of job mismatches, gender imbalance in education and so on. So this topic can analyze what issues that faced by Malaysia’s education system.
- Problems faced by employers in hiring fresh graduates
From the graph above the command problems is poor command of English (55.8%) and these skills are lacking among new graduatres. Fresh graduates must have skills when they are applying a job which are devide to two categories comprising hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills is a mastery and practice of a body knowledge whereas soft skills are the development of largerly inter and itra-personnel skills.
- Issues in education
3.1The problem of job mismatches
Mismatches of qualifications with employers’ needs means that what is expected by the employers in the job market does not match (Kalaimagal and Norizan, 2012). Lack of experience are the major cause of unemployment among fresh graduates. The market is oversupplied with young and inexperience graduates as the number of graduates increasing over the year. The graduate oversupply has resulted that imbalance of the number graduates in the relation of the job opportunities available in the market.
According to the article on “Close to half of Malaysian graduates either jobless or employed in mismatches fields”, which is attributes up the 40% public university graduates in Malaysia are either jobless or are stuck in mismatches occupation on July 27, 2013. In this article, one of the ways of overcoming such problems is to encourage more (graduates) to be more entrepreneurial and to do that, must ensure they have more experience that will enable them to be more sustainable. Among the reason side for the unemployment was the lack of language proficiency particularly in English as well as not having sufficient knowledge and competency in the jobs that they applied for.
The skills mismatches between employers and worker is one is one of many reasons leading to high graduate unemployment. Malaysia has produced many skilled workers in IT, science, and professional graduates that were aim to increase R&D and raise productivity in our key leading sectors. The absence of quality leading institutions to absorb the lead such initiatives has resulted in high unemployment.
3.2Gender Imbalance In Education
Gender inequality in education and employment poses a major challenge to development. The female advantage in terms of tertiary enrolment does not necessary directly into advantageous participation in the labour market. Although women are likely more than man to have a university education, female graduate are more likely than male graduates to be lower paying jobs or to be unemployed. Female enrolment has outnumber of males and this phenomenon has been attributed to the new gender gap.
Closing the gender gap education has now become a development priority. This identified that education is the primary vehicle for woman that not only to build basic capabilities but also to play a meaningful role in bring equitable social and economic development. The government regards education is an important tool to empower the women of Malaysia and constantly strengthened its education system in addition to providing more educational opportunities for woman. Now, in our system woman in Malaysia are attending universities and are enrolled in various courses such as arts and humanities, science and technology as well as vocational and technical field. Males need to perform well at the school level in order to compete for places in university. Fewer high paying jobs would be available to men leading to changes in future workforce composition.
Table 8.3 below in 2013 show the percentage and ratio of students at public higher education institutes by gender. Percentage of female students is the higher which is 61.02% than the male students which is 38.98%. This data showed the imbalances of gender between female and male students. This is because female students more to hardworking and to study in the higher instituition than male students.
- Lack of Science and Technical Graduates
Malaysia is going to the rapid shift of production based economy to knowledge-based economy, so companies are progressively needed more of science and technical graduates. On the other hands, new graduates who are not meeting needs of industry due to the lack of crucial skills and innovations.
So, it will be difficult when many companies are not willing to invest time and money to train new graduates due to budget and time constraints because companies have to conduct training workshops and courses which can be typically take up to two years.
Some employers poor in English command of the English language among fresh graduates. In general, local graduates are highly qualified but not proficient in English language.
- Lack of skills issue
Soft skills are nontechnical skills such as communication, management and leadership which are required to successful practice. This is because majority of students are not confident with their soft. Soft skills are very important in securing a job in the job market. They are unable to communicate effectively because they lack confident and have a poor command in English language. In addition, local companies are demanding English proficiency too (The Star, 10 April 2011). Even local company, they are looking for graduates who are creative, inventive and bold to success in the market job.
It had stated that most employees require workers to possess qualities such as good attitude, strong work ethics, and the ability to communicate well, a willingness to learn and to contribute new ideas. It has been acknowledge by the general consensus of Malaysian employers that Malaysian graduates lack the soft skills although are well trained in their areas of specialization (Nurita, Shaharudin, Ainon, 2004). Soft skills is the most important skill, this is because they have to communicate clearly and persuasively during the job interviews. Malaysian education system focus to exam oriented. So, for those who complete their studies have a lack of these skill is common everywhere. Here, new graduate are a little more aware about it now and there has been a slight improvement but the challenge are the same. There is a fear of failure or being put in the spotlight.
The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has identified seven soft skills that should be possessed by all graduates as indicated in the Module for the Development of Soft Skills for Higher Learning Institution Malaysia, 2006 which include the skills for tertiary institutions need to inculcate among the local graduates: critical thinking and problem solving skills, communication skills, lifelong learning and information literacy, team working skills, professional ethics and morality, entrepreneurship skills and leadership skills.
Soft skills are identified as generic skills and require training in contrast to hard skills which are associated with procedures or tasks that are observable, quantity and measurable. In facing the challenge of the job market, soft skills are required by university graduates. So, learning in tertiary classroom has moved away from teacher-centered to student-centered learning. Thus, it can be a necessary for those are searching a job nowadays especially for new graduates. Our system is through exam oriented, so many of the student are lack in their soft skills. In other to work transition is the supply of work to new fresh graduates are little bit. Many of company now need a graduates who have a soft skills that will be an innovative persons. So, our Malaysian education system must improve their system which is exam oriented.
Another academic in a private institution of higher learning commented on lack of leadership in his institution. Poor leadership and lack of commitment and motivation from top management is one of the main reasons which creates a barrier to the growth and effectiveness of many private institutions and management school.
A number of institutions employ retired academicians to occupy prime and decision-making positions and many of these retired academics lack vision, motivation and commitment with no interest in promoting the institutions and management education.
- Quality Issue
Companies overwhelmingly agree that the content and quality of local university education do not adequately prepare students for the workforce while a weak basic education is also to be blame for producing graduates with adequate soft skills. The Malaysia education system must to differentiate between the various type of unemployment graduates, the reason why they are unable to find a work, and the interventions that must be taken to help them find employment.
One possible explanation for the relatively high rate of graduate unemployment could be employers unwillingness to offer the level of compensation needed to meet the expectations of recent graduates and attract the required talent. So, Malaysia need to address the mismatch in skill formation and build a functioning feedback mechanism between educational institutions and the industry.
A university of Malaya seven year longitudinal study of the school work transition (Nagaraj et al., 2009: 219) found that university graduates to have low regard for creativity and for risk taking. This bring us that fresh graduates increasingly view of the ability to think critically and creatively, and work independently. But graduates from Malaysian Universities seem to be lacking in these areas. In addition, government should look at improving incentives and recruitment for them for promoting professional development and career management (text book)
Through the analysis of the current performance of national education based on the blueprint, government public examination lack of the ability to assess and reflect objectively the academic proficiency of students. This according to not only did our students performed poorly in higher level thinking, they also had difficulties with basic knowledge. This shows it is a very serious problem in managing the transition of our students.
Besides, the public perception of the quality of education from industry perspective is based on the graph below. Industry perspective is refer to employers opinions about university graduates and these can be into five weaknesses listed as follows (Jobstreet survey, 2011): (1) unrealistic salary demands, (2) bad character, attitude and personality, (3) poor command of English language, (4) lack of good communication skills, (5) too choosy about the job. Thus, issues are faced by Malaysia's education system are students problem to more to their attitude. The problems not only in the students knowledge and learning skills but also in their ways to interacting with people and handle their personal matters.
As the conclusion, Malaysian education system must have an incentive to managing work transition for those who complete their studies as they enter the world of work because many of fresh graduates had been seen was unemployment phenomenon. We notice there is over-emphasis on the number of students enrolment. This has reflected that our education is pay more attention to quantity instead of quality.
The issues such as the problem of job mismatches, gender imbalance in education, lack of science and technical graduates, lack of skills issue, quality issue can be a problem for education system in managing for those who complete their studies as they enter the world of work. This bring us that fresh graduates increasingly view of the ability to think critically and creatively, and work independently.
Then, issues are faced by Malaysia's education system are students problem to more to their attitude. The problems not only in the students knowledge and learning skills but also in their ways to interacting with people and handle their personal matters. This problem can be overcome among the students if they have alternatives to change their attitude. Thus, the work transition will be going smoothly.
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reforming national education
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Malaysia educational statistics 2014