Pause for a moment and ask yourself; for those who are pursuing your studies, is that really what you always wanted? And for those who are parents, are your kids really passionate about what they are currently undertaking? Or is that what you see yourself to be?

Today’s topic will be about education. Sounds familiar? What about free education, in all its different kinds?

Yes, I do agree that we have vocational schools, but how wide are the choices and opportunities given? And how many parents are aware of the choices that they have for their kids? Even if they are, are they willing to give up the usual route of studying in public schools and just ‘accepting’ that their kids are being labeled ‘weak’ in academics?

We all lived off the first 17 years of our lives on the term ‘going with the flow’ and accepting what gets handed to us regardless if we are prepared for it or not. To add insult to injury, the large majority of our children are being judged by the number of A’s they score in examinations.

However, how many peers have we lost in this journey we call life just because, as Albert Einstein put it, they were fishes being judged on their ability to climb a tree.

Sounds unfair? The sad truth is that this is exactly what’s happening in today’s society as individuals of different abilities are measured using the same scale.

To the parents who are reading this, your kids may be a victim of this predicament, feeling lost and useless while unbeknownst to them, it’s not the slightest bit their fault.

The current prevailing mentality towards professions is one of the contributing factors that cause parents to ignore their children’s interests.

The society tends to perceive occupations such as lawyers, accountants, doctors and engineers as more prestigious professions. Having recently graduated, let me share with you a few real life examples that I have witnessed first-hand.

My friends ended up in finance, sales, banking and even marketing when they all graduated with masters in engineering and they all said the same thing: ‘Engineering is not my cup of tea’, even after spending four years studying it in university.

Question? Did they initially choose this course simply because they could or because they actually wanted to? Was it the society that subconsciously pressured them to choose engineering because it is a profession that is more prestigious and admired by others? Or are they so blinded by their ‘excellent’ straight A results in UPSR, PMR and SPM to the point that they have become complacent for the past 17 years of their lives thinking that they are smart?

What percentage of the younger generation is not contented with their lives and has a feeling of regret when they finally realize that A’s on a piece of paper is not representative of their actual worth as human beings?

The day that our society is aware of the importance of proper education and when that education is readily available to everyone is the day when the society will finally grasp the fact that every individual is different in his or her own way.

This, in my opinion, is the true meaning of education. I have been living in this country for the past 22 years, and have started working only five months ago. I may not have lived long enough to provide any life-changing advice but I can at least allow readers to view the beautiful new Malaysia through my perspective.

Only in a society where freedom of education is present, is where a society which accepts and embraces all individual differences can be created.

– Mysinchew