I was invited to attend the launch of the 2012 Graduan Aspire, Career & Post Graduate Fair at KLCC. Graduan Aspire aims to connect potential employees with local and overseas talents that are currently in Malaysia. It also offers the talents a better insight of the Malaysian job market and provide them with relevant information regarding their future for their career path.
After the launch by Senator Datuk Maznah Mazlan, Deputy Minister of Human Resources, two session of couch talk was held. The first touches on the topic of Triple Threat – Live. Work. Play. Moderated by Dzamer Dzulkifli, this talk discussed about what a graduate should expect when going to an interview, to know what the employer seeks and basically, be positive and to have the perseverance.
The first session was interesting but the second one really grabbed my attention. It’s not because of the speakers are celebrities but the topic discussed, Do What You Love and You’ll Never Work a Day.
They talked about the experience they had during high school, how they believe in themselves and their dreams and dared to make them come true. It felt so close to me, to the experience which I had in my high school years. Now the story begins here.
1) Situation No. 1.
I studied for my Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) and all my efforts were paid off as I got straight As for it. Being a straight As PMR student means that your place in a Science class is secured. But I wasn’t into Science I am not interested at all. All I wanted to do was arts. So I talked to my friends about it. Some even questioned me. Why? The answer was simple. I love arts and I have no passion for Science.
After much debating and thinking, I decided to stay in Science class. I stayed because most of my friends are in the same class and honestly, I thought, I wouldn’t fit in the art class where all the students scored low grades.
So I took the effort to meet up with the school’s Penolong Kanan and told her I wanted to add arts to my lost of subjects. She said ‘why do you want to take arts? Isn’t being in Science class good enough for you?’. I told her I had passion. I asked my friends in class if some of the wanted to take arts, took their names, sent it to the arts teacher and unfortunately our ‘plea’ was never spoke of since then.
I studied Science since then and I flunked. I fucked up.
2) Situation No. 2.
I was in my last year of high school. I went to see a teacher at his office. Once I got there, I saw my junior speaking to that teacher. He wanted to shift from the Science stream to arts. Like I wanted to. Instead of the teacher, respecting and giving a neutral opinion about my junior’s decision he said:
‘Why do you want to shift to arts class? Being in the Science stream is a big advantage. Do you know that the need for Science graduates at this time are highly in demand? Besides, there are a lot of career opportunity for Science graduates out there. You pay is high if you have a Science certificate. People look up to you. Arts? What can you do with it? You won’t have a stable job. You won’t get a good pay.
I felt insulted as I have a big passion for arts and I felt sorry for my junior. I lost my respects for that teacher.
When you do the things that you don’t love, you feel like working all day. That’s what I experienced. I worked my ass of on those Science subjects and still I don’t get them. It’s just not my forte. It wasn’t ‘feeling’ it cause Science was not my passion.
I guess this is the reason why students rebel during high school and don’t deliver their best. Not because they have confidence issues, just that, they are not interested, and when they are not interested, why should they care right?
And there’s always this stereotyping that, art students are ‘stupid’ and the ones who are intelligent are Science students. It always has been like that. This happens, I believe in most schools because all the students with lower grades are placed in arts class and the rest, you know where. Getting lower grades doesn’t make you an art student, so as getting higher grades don’t make you a Science student.
The irony is, some art students took up medicine as their major in college and Science students took up arts. At least, as far as I know, I’m the only one who furthered my studies in arts in my class.
What can we learn from this is every student has to know what they love to do and dare to make it come true. Students have to stand firm with their goals. Otherwise, you might not know what you want to do in the future, you ended up drifted. This is a true story.
Teacher’s on the other hand have to help them into finding what they really like to do and realize their true potential and not stop them just because they ‘know’ better. I believe only then, a quality student can be produced. And, not to push/force students to do something they don’t want to do. True story as well.
Food for thought. Do you think that the education system should be revamp to go hand in hand in the era of globalization instead of being exam oriented?