I realised that I have been sharing quite a bit of BBC articles and news lately. Some might feel that I am ‘cheating’, that is, posting something that I did not write. However, I will defend myself by saying that most of the posts are actually accompanied by my own comments. I might have missed one or two, though, as I usually update them in snatched moments before class and during class break.
Why do I share? That is the question I asked myself when I realised that I have been sharing on my blog quite a bit of BBC news. The answer I got from myself, brutally honest, is that the news I shared, the articles I shared, I feel deeply about them. I wanted to comment on them. I do not want to post it on Facebook as there will be tons of likes with no real purpose. So I rather post it on my secret blog as my ‘secret life’, if you like it.
Take my most recent post of BBC articles, it is one about education in Asia. The rising costs of education is a worry to us Asians, parents and students alike. I am a 19-year-old student who had just signed an agreement for a loan of RM39 000, to be repaid in 15 years time, in order to fund my own studies. I am lucky, the course I chose, law, does not really cost too much. If I had chosen medicine or engineering, I would be tying myself down to a loan of a few hundred thousands.
As claimed by the articles, there are indeed parents who gave up medicine and sell their houses in order to pay for the children’s rising education cost. The upshot of it is that if you want to do a ‘normal’ (that is, not science courses) external degree in private institutions in Malaysia, the school fees alone will be around RM 50 000. In addition to rental and living expenses, a three-year course will be averaging about RM100 000,conservatively speaking. If it is a twinning programme, be prepared to see the costs doubled or even tripled.
For us of the middle class bracket, it is either an expensive education for which you will be taking a loan before even earning a single cent, or stop studying after secondary school and take your chance with the University of Life. My mother decided we will take the former path and so here I am.
In the article, there is reference to tiger father and tiger mother. It is probably true in some cases, but most definitely untrue in mine! I have the choice of which course I want to study in. I have heard of some cases where ‘kia su’ (afraid to lose) parents forces their children to study medicine or engineering as these courses are traditionally highly-regarded and have high social status. A tragedy, especially if the child hates science subjects as I do.
Education costs go up because in this highly capitalistic and commercialized world, a certificate of education is the most important proof of competency. To get a good job in a good company, a certificate from a good school is a must. Therefore, we Asians are prepared to spend a goodly sum to get that as education has long be heralded as the way to ascend the social ladder.