Degree holders are educated citizens

Posted by sazali


Did you read my posting about people who can not do mathematics?

Hope you did. Thank you.

2)  Educated means  you have a good brain.  The graduates have gone through many processes like logical thinking, pattern recognition, smart argument , making hypothesis , finding conclusion  and many more.  You name it .. degree holders of many disciplines had taken that in their wonderful stride.  I graduated from Leeds, Birmingham while my eldest son had his B.Eng in Sheffield, England. My neighbors like Raihan did his degree in Brighton while my land lord (Mr Nizam) is doing his PhD in Glasgow, Scotland.  My former landlord Dr Tan came from Mc Gill , Canada .  After all those struggles including falling on a black ice ( horrible winter - huhhh ), we finally came home to Malaysia with degrees.  Thus the english called us as 'the educated citizens made in U.K.'.  not Urat Keting tau?

3)  When I think about all those struggles overseas ..   and looking back some of the maths scripts that my students (first year Bachelor I.T degree) handed out to me .. I think ..  there is something  very  seriously  wrong with the above definition of 'educated'.

Just look at some of these answers in a maths exercise - their  scripts, I mean :

(a)  the final line of her solution is     (2/1)   read as  two divided by 1.  My brain say that it is '2' . Simple!  why didn't that girl put   '2' as the final answer?  why (2/1)?  By the way she got a calculator  /  and she also have a IBM PC machine in front of her.  We have maths tutorial in a computer laboratory.

(b)  along the path of solving      another girl showed me     '.....         3/6   =  2/1   "  read as   3 divided by 6  is equal to   2 divided by 1.   Hush?  that should be         1/2   Yes   .. a half ....  one divided by 2  ..

3/6  should be 1/2  not   2/1 .  if they are doing maths, if they are copying directly from their friends' papers .. their mind must say that   2/1  is   2  not  1/2   or    3/6  is 1/2  not   2!  (Bugger me!)

My anger starts to build.  I got another paper ..another paper ..another paper ..  all having the same mistakes so glaringly wrong .. so clearly put as ..

my mind started to say '.. i must have a bunch of idiots .. in my degree maths classes .. after all."

(c)  they were given .. some questions on Euler / Hamiltonian paths and circuits in the final quiz.  One question ask .. what is the degree at vertex 'B'?  i got this answer .   45 degrees/ 60 degrees sharp.

The answer should be   degree of vertex =  how many paths entering town called 'B'  .  the answer is 2 paths. 2 different routes. What did I get ?  45, 60  degrees angle?
confuse lot.

Oshhhh . GOD.  OMG!

I discussed these mistakes with my wife at the breakfast table. She served me toasted bread plus a boiled egg.  Very western.  But who cares?   She did not have any sort of degree.  The highest qualification she had is HSC (Higher School Certificate) equivalent to GCE "A" levels in England.  HSC Certificate is awarded by Malaysian Ministry of Education -  Examination Syndicate ..  recognized by University of Cambridge, England.  With this HSC ..  my wife has lived with me all these 30 years including few years in United Kingdom while I was reading my masters and basic degree.

So I asked her that question "  LOVE ..  what is 2 divided by 1? "  she answered  2.

what is '    3 divided by 6 ?  '  she promptly answered  half.

See?  she was playing with her long, black but shining hair while answering my questions thrown to her .  so easy , she said.

my wife   had stopped going to any sort of  maths lessons formally for the last 30 years and yet she answered them correctly .. on the spot.  Spot on CORRECT.  and she is not called as educated as defined in England.

so ..let us go back to few of my poorly  students  ..

where did they come from?

The answers ..  may be from polytechnics, Kolej Komuniti, Institut Latihan Industri, Polytech MARA, ..  and many more.

I checked their secondary education ..  maths grades C at PMR and  D at SPM (equivalent to GCSE  'O' levels ) and I saw .. with wide eyes ..  their overall CPA pointers from polytechnics .. above 3.0 out of 4.0  ..  American system of grading ... well ..  they used semester type of education.

Then my mind started to shift back and forward ..  what are the basic qualification of a degree education in this country?

as seen from the advertisements ..  STPM / HSC/  GCE "A" levels or equivalent to ..

so the equivalence could be any Diploma   from Malaysian Polytechnics(MOHE)  etc etc plus relavant job experience.


So I quickly made some summary.  Well I got to rush to my office .. time is near 0800 morning Here they are:

(i)  some teachers plus SPM exam body  could have  resulted with pushing non-performing students into the polytechnics

(ii) some irresponsible lecturers in the polytechnics  had 'purposely' pushed 'non-performing' students into malaysian universities such as UM Terengganu,  UM Pahang, UNIMAP, UTHM Johor and ..

(iii)  the government policy ?  they wanted as many youth to enter tertiary education thus avoiding .. many social problems if they are not ... in any learning institutions at the age of 20 - 25.

So who are we to blame for all this mess?  future graduates who did have the most basic mathematical understanding etc etc plus simple logic.  2 divided by 1  is  still 2 divided by 1 forever ...  why can't they close it as '2'    FULL STOP!

** there was a film many years ago ,  one Canadian Airways plane exploded in the mid air.  The verdict .. the petrol man at the base (airport) wrongly interpret ..   pound weight of petrol pumped into the airplane as kilogram weight of petrol.  Thus that plane flew with insufficient petrol from Montreal to London .. as a result BOOOOM  ..  their relaltives collected the body parts ..  all over the Pacific Ocean.  See, the disaster ?

Yes .. I repeat .. this is a complete mathematical MESS.  One day ..  we will see this disaster in the malaysian newspaper.  Just wait....  the time is ticking away .. to that happenings.




  1. Anonymous said...

    haha..kelakar baca part yang ur wife jawab sambil main rambut tu..but thats the truth..kadang I pon xpaham, kenapa boleh jadi macam tu..
    mungkin ada betolnya lecturers from poli or any lecturers time diploma or sijil saje pass kan student mereka walaupun tak perform.
    tapi bila difikir2 balik, diorang mungkin lak dapat tekanan dari pihak atasan juge. lecturers biasnye akan dipersoalkan bila ramai pelajar it. nak selamat, passkan sudah lahh..hehe..boleh buat tajuk phd kot ni..

Post a Comment