Datuk Seri Idris Jala is singing the education blues.
The research on educational outcomes suggests early intervention is both cheaper and more effective in bringing about better life outcomes. Translation: It’s not about fixing the universities, it’s about pre-school and primary education.
The existence of a “college premium” is indisputable – university graduates earn more over their lifetime than non-graduates, even after controlling for ability, opportunity and parental background. But that doesn’t mean the most effective use of government resources should be geared towards “fixing” our universities, or making tertiary education “free”.
Frankly, by the time students get to university, it’s almost too late for any effective and meaningful intervention, especially with respect to the things employers want our graduates to have – language and communications skills, not just technical knowledge.
Those skills are picked up at an early age, typically in the first ten years of a child’s life, but very particularly in the first six years or so. Cognitive development – logic and the ability to recognise abstractions for instance – develops later.
Read more HERE.