Monday, 28 May 2007

The Price Of A Degree

The computing class was cancelled, and everyone went to the cafe instead and Mr Ravi bought us all ice creams.

We talked about many random things, and then he told us his story. He was from Chennai, Southern India. He graduated from university and started working in 1996. He earned about 1000 Rupee (around RM90 at that time). After two years, he got married and moved to Malaysia, looking for much better job prospect. Later on, he worked at Inti College, Subang Jaya but life was pretty bad, back then as he had to work from 8am to 8pm daily.

He was really depressed, and decided to resign and look for some other jobs. He applied for work to a couple of colleges and KYUEM was the first one to reply. Then he asked us, what did we think was the most important thing that made him successful? There is nothing apart from education. He have got three degrees, 3 masters and now he is doing another master degree.

The only thing that has made him, what he is today is education. Only now, he can afford to buy whatever he wants. There was a time when his wife could only wear sari borrowed from his parents, but now he can afford to buy them for her. It was really fascinating that he did all of that on his own, not even a penny from scholarship or what not.  Not many people are able to really stand on their own two feet, what an exceptional achievement. Insya Allah, I shall be doing my first degree next year, but even that is all made possible because of my scholarship. It must had been really difficult for him to juggle between study and work at the same time.

But you know what, because of all his hard work before, he can live a pretty decent life now with RM8000 salary and 4 months of annual bonus. Not too shabby, huh? On top of that, he got more than two months of holiday. Then, he said that he didn't really like the idea of scholarship, for the fact that sponsored students are required to work with their respective firms for more than 8 years. There are even cases that they have to work for 10 years.

Mr Ravi then added, isn't it a pretty bad situation to only have a degree when many other people are even more qualified. How are we gonna compete with others?  Should we be just content with one degree?
“Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. ‘I store my knowledge in my friends’ is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people (undated).” Karen Stephenson

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