I was chatting a friend who studied engineering minoring in naval shipbuilding. My friend is a female. The first thing I asked her was if she was given that course or if she chose it. She said it was her choice out of interest. Engineering alone is heavy for a female, let alone naval shipbuilding. 

I further found out that she began her career as a lecturer teaching engineering and the technical subjects related to shipbuilding. 

‘Why did you jump from technical to teaching?’

“The pay was too low. Even with a degree. I was paid about RM1300 while my colleagues were paid about RM2400.”

‘Oh? How come? You have a degree!’

“They are male. I’m female.”

I was appalled. I was stunned. 

You’ve got to be kidding me.

She loves the subject. And from my experience of working with her, she is good at these technical stuff. She knows her stuff.

My bigger question is why does our system allow students to graduate with a certain subject only to then be discriminated? Especially when they graduate with interest and actual expertise.

It’s been 3 days and I still don’t have the answer. But here is what I will say. 

There is a gap. A massive gap between what the higher institutions are producing and what the market ‘thinks’ they want and need. Frankly, I do not know when the job market and the education ministry is ever going to sort this issue out, so here is what we, as parents can do. 

Know what our kids want to do. And then encourage them to get involved in activities or jobs that will build their skills and traction in that particular field. 

I have a 15 year old student who is very passionate about becoming a journalist. I started her on her own blog.

Times are tough now. We do not know if it’s going to get worse or better. What we can do though, is to be prepared for either one because by the looks of it, the only way our children are going to get to pursue their dreams is if they are already equipped. Else, be discrimated.

If the system isn’t going to change, we create a change.



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