02 June 2009

Higher Education – I do it my way (Part 2)

How high should one go to educate oneself? Sky is the limit. That is if there is such a thing as the sky. Otherwise, be realistic with both feet firmly on the ground. That is Pak Cik’s philosophy.

Below the majestic blue sky, below the veil of white cloud, below the crossing paths of speeding jets, below the green casuarina and coconut palms stands the humble black-and-white Almanar, anchored firmly to mother earth

“Pak Cik, apa pilihan terbaik untuk saya?” is a normal question I am asked about this time of the year. I know many would say, “Accept metrikulasi. It is the best and you can save one year.” No, I see it quite differently. Metrikulasi runs last in Pak Cik’s list. I must beg to be different in my view, as some will not agree, that metrikulasi has done more harm than good to many pupils. I would have no hesitation to advise high achievers to take STPM, if they are living in big towns like KL, Ipoh and Penang where there are good STPM teachers, and compete with the many good non-Malay pupils.

In an environment where I am, Pak Cik have to be realistic. I have to ponder hard what a degree means to these children. Against my personal wish to see these children graduating from a university I cannot help picturing in my mind’s eye their parents’ faces expecting to see the day when there is some relief in their financial burden. Imagine the days when it rains hard and your small-time construction boss tells you there is no work to do. Imagine the days when you spend a whole day at sea and return home with hardly enough catch to pay for the diesel consumed by your outboard engine. There are mouths to feed. Fifty ringgits a month from a working child is meaningful.

Within the last one month I have counseled a few ex-Almanar pupils on their selection of courses offered to them. Invariably, I have to consider their strength and chances of success, not forgetting their family background. Here are some of the courses which Pak Cik have recently encouraged them to go for:

- Asasi pergigian
- Asasi medics
- Diploma radiography
- Diploma nursing
- Diploma engineering
- Diploma pharmacy
- Diploma catering

It was not a pleasant situation when I had to tell a father that his daughter’s chances of pursuing a course in radiography successfully were very slim.

There are a few who look down on ‘diploma’, preferring Metrikulasi on the advice of their families or some ‘learned’ individuals. Who am I to stop them?

I have no hesitation to advise high achievers to start with diploma courses at the end of which they can get a job, gain some experience, and earn some money for themselves and families. Some day, when the situation is more conducive, they can pick up where they have left off. With experience, their chances of achieving good degrees are even better. It brings to mind an ex-Almanar girl who started this way some years ago, getting herself a diploma in civil engineering. At the end of her long tunnel, she graduated with a first-class degree in civil engineering, and is now happily earning a living for herself and her aged parents.

Education must serve as a means to an end. It should never be one to satisfy and inflate one’s ego. And Pak Cik will continue to provide counseling my way.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


mantan said...

Yes Pak Chik. I agree. Please help them to decide.

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Wahab,
Lebih 30 tahun cikgu hidup sebagai pendidik. Kata orang guru guru dimasa silam lebih pengabdian mereka terhadap perkhidmatan, dengan itu lebih disanjungi dan dihormati. Saya percaya ada betulnya. You are a professional in this field and that you can go along with my unorthodox view gives me a sense of satisfaction. Comments from persons of your stature are most welcome, no matter if we differ in our views. Thank you.

Seri Suryati said...

pak cik al manar
anak saya dah buat pilihan daripada uniten, unisel, matrik Gambang, akhirnya dia pilih asasi engineering di UIAM,PJ.
sy sentiasa berdoa agar dia mampu menerajui bidang yang di pilih.
di sebalik itu tersirat juga rasa kebimbangan.maklumlah dunia pendidikan semakin mencabar.

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Seri suryati

Saya rasa pilihan Aliff amat baik. Apa perlu bimbang.Have faith and confidence. My congratulations

Naa..a said...

assalamualaikum pak cik.Pakabar?
Pada saya apa jua course yang dipilih mesti diminati dan kita boleh jadikan pembelajaran kita itu menghasilkan sesuatu yang luar biasa...

the principal said...

Saya kecewa bila gagal menerima tawaran ke mana-mana IPT selepas SPM. Namun bersyukur kerana keputusan STPM yg baik membolehkan saya berada di Fakulti Undang2, UM. Memang impian saya utk menjadi peguam. Saya mensia-siakan peluang tersebut, gagal bbrp kali. Saya bangkit dr kegagalan, akhirnya berjaya menjadi peguam. Setelah 7 tahun berkhidmat & gaji menghampiri 5 angka, saya berhenti utk menjadi pendidik. Ramai mengatakan tindakan saya tidak wajar tp saya sentiasa ingin mencorakkan hidup saya mengikut acuan saya sendiri. Seperti lirik dlm lagu The Greatest Love of All, "if I fail, if I succeed, atleast I live as I believe"...With Allah's guidance, insya allah...

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Rosnah

Latar belakang cikgu yang bermula dari sekolah agama sehingga kemenara gading dan kerjaya sekarang membuktikan kejayaan yang datang menerusi pilihan kursus yang diminati- seperti kata cikgu. Syabas

Al-Manar said...

Madam Principal,

‘A woman who has one life but trying to be many things & dying to live out many dreams’ is how you aptly describe yourself in your blog. From SPM to STPM to UM (struggled, struggled, struggled …) to chambering to legal firm to own a kindergarten and be the Principal. Yet, there are so many more years ahead and I wonder what new challenges will come in your way. I admire the way you choose to move on, not because of failure, but doing it all your way to your own satisfaction. That rings a bell. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Wan Nik Ahmad Mustafa (Dato’ Dr) made a comment about your note "Higher Education – I do it my way (Part 2)":

Abang Ngah, A'kum. Glad you have the time to write on all important issues in education. May Allah bless you and family for your effort and sacrifices in helping our children to better themselves.
I agree that STPM is always a better choice for those who can make the grade. The degree of maturity between a STPM holder and one who has done one year matriculation is very obvious. Look at the public unis. Many failures and dropouts were those who were from matriculations. Somehow, one year is not enough to prepare them to be independent in the university.
Of course for those aiming to do less intensive courses matriculation may be a better choice.

Al-Manar said...

Your years at Kubang Kerian, in Dundee and in the present work as a specialist at the hospital allow you to comment with some authority.I am glad we see it in the same light and thank you for your view.
Our home is yours whenever you feel like beeing back home in KT. Our love to you all.
Abang Ngah and Kak Mah

ARZ said...

Pak Chik,

I hope to bring 5 cycling buddies of mine to the gates of al-Manar on Sat 27th June. We will be on a 3-day tour starting in Dungun on Fri 26th and overnighting in KT. We hope to leave KT early and a short stop-over at Al-Manar enroute to Kuala Besut for our second night stop.

Al-Manar said...


You and party are very welcome to put up the night- rough out- with us.

izah hamid said...

Pak Chik, i'm a matriculation lecturer.. i was a matriculation student too.. personally, i will advise my students to accept diploma programme offer rather than joining matriculation programme for certain reasons which i'm afraid that i could not talk about.. but for those who already joining matriculation, wotk hard is the only key to gain success there

Al-Manar said...

You have strengthened my view on metriculation. A comment from the metriculation lecturer herself lends credibilty. Hope to see from you more comments on education. When are you dropping by to givr Pak Cik some asistnce?

Anonymous said...

Hello Pak Cik. Saya Chong. Result SPM saya baik. Lebih baik dari kebanyakan kawan-kawan Melayu saya. Kerana saya China, saya tak dapat biasiswa walaupun dah dapat tempat di U. Duit nak pergi KL daftar pun tak ada. Bapa sudah mati. Mak jual makan dekat pasar. Saya teruskan ke tingkatan 6. Lepas sekolah saya kerja angkat simen, angkat batu dgn Uncle saya. Kumpul duit. Lepas habis Tingkatan 6, saya masuk U. Sekarang ada duit. Tahun 2 saya berhenti. Tak cukup duit. Walaupun saya kerja sambilan, tapi tak cukup. KL mahal. Saya cari kerja KL. Mula-mula buat sales. Kejar orang sana-sini jual buku. Tak boleh tahan. Kerja teruk, komisen sikit. Saya berhenti dan dapat jadi kerani. Siang saya kerja, malam saya part time belajar. Dekat 5 tahun baru dapat ijazah. Sekarang saya sudah kerja ada bagus sikit. Saya juga tengah part time buat Master. Ada org senang, ada susah. Kita kena lawan. Kerja kuat. Jangan give-up. Melayu susah, belajar pandai, ada biasiswa. Melayu senang pun ada biasiswa. China susah, tak ada kabel, sendiri carilah... Tapi saya rasa dengan cara ini saya lebih 'kuat'.

Al-Manar said...

Thank you for the visit and your comment. Read my new posting as my response to you. I wonder how you came to Almanar blog. I am just curious. Get through my e-mail if you wish.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those mentioned.Now I am in UIA doing my asasi pergigian.I was offered matrikulasi in Pahang before this but decided to further my study in UIA instead. I think it is better than going to the hectic matrikulasi. Indeed UIA puts us under a lot of pressure too. I have to accept this and be patient. We have to face hardship to achieve what we want in life.I am really proud of you,Chong.
p/s I will be home on this weekend. Azmiera