Am stuck here at Sunway Carnival Mall... waiting for Son. So glad I've the comp to keep me company while I wait. He's taking his Pre-Selection Test for Pre-U for ASEAN Scholarship. We encouraged him to apply so as to let him see for himself what a rigourous selection process is like. I think so far, it's been an eye opening experience for him. Competition is very keen. They are tested on Math, English and General Abilities. It's over a period of 2 days. Each paper is 3 hours long. There're probably a couple of hundred kids vying for the very limited places... and this is only the northern region.
Which brings me to my next point.... it's crazy the about to happen brain drain that I'm seeing right before my eyes, in my own small world here that is. These are among our best and brightest kids and they are being 'lured' away. While some may argue that this is a scholarship with no strings attached, most of them will not come back to work in Malaysia after they are done with their studying... It's a loss for us. All because we have this silly double standard thingy which boils down to skin colour.
Observation.. I didn't see any Bumi (read that as Malay) kids. A couple of inferences one can make. One, Malays feel they don't need this, which is true cos with mediocre results they will be offered to further their studies. The better ones get overseas scholarships.
Two, being a Malaysian means there are two sets of rules. It's some sort like apartheid but at a lesser degree. Malaysians compromise on moral absolutes... our morals are very 'senget'. We are very religious but being religious here also means that moral absolutes follow our whims.... which is a no brainer.
Three, the rigours of JC is too tough for many. Many of the Bumi kids may feel inadequate - this comes from the years of instilling in them that they need to be helped i.e they are not good enough... our political masters put them on crutches and tell them they need them. But generally, many of our kids prefer the private colleges (but the pa and ma must have the dough) - easier, more comfortable, etc. Singapore education standard is arguably one of the better in this region now. We used to be on par on them eons ago. But we've gone on a slide downwards this last decade or so. Such a pity cos we started off so much better than them.
Anyway, I still have a couple of hours to kill before Son finishes... if he clears this around (and he says it's a really big IF), it'll still be an uphill task for him. We demand academic excellence here, but we don't quite prepare our kids to face the world with all the other skills. So, sometimes, it's good for them to see what it's like on the other side on the fence. Maybe, after this experience, he'll buck up and work on getting on par if not better with what's on the other side of that fence.