Friday, July 21, 2017

Before We Start Talking About “Free” Tertiary Education…

…we need to handle this little problem:


  1. Why isn’t secondary education universal yet?
  2. What’s happening with the missing boys? Malaysia’s gender ratio is tilted to more boys, yet fewer of them enter secondary education.
  3. If you think this is bad, from my memory the secondary graduation numbers are even worse (I’ll post the chart if and when I find the numbers).


  1. I have been thinking about the second question; unless the boys stop working, it should not be a problem. Many tribes, the female are the breadwinner. It is unfortunate that childbearing is only limited to the female, else I know of many househusband. And it seem to have worked out fine.

    1. @Zuo De

      Proposition 1: Violence and crime are mainly committed by young men with no prospects

      Proposition 2: People tend to marry within their own social class, a process known as "assortative mating"

      Proposition 3: In the transition to a knowledge economy, inequality of wealth and income will increase, as the returns to skills and knowledge increase.

      Based on the above:

      1. Job opportunities for the lowly-skilled will deteriorate. The fact that 30% of our youth enter the work force with just primary education is a big hurdle to improving social welfare, and staying in work

      2. Social status will gradually shift towards women, reducing marriage opportunities for men. This isn't an issue in more primitive societies, where social status remains relatively equal. Whichever spouse is the breadwinner is not really the issue; the probability of gaining a spouse is. If marriage was random relative to socio-economic status, I wouldn't be so concerned about this. However, it isn't.

      3. Violence and crime (especially against women) are likely to increase as an increasing number of young men become marginalised, both from lack of economic opportunity and marital opportunity. We're genetically programmed to pass on our genes, and the inability to do so engenders desperation and extremism. The flip side is also true - the smaller cohort of educated men will have greater opportunity.

      Unless there is a significant change in gender roles (an unlikely occurence in our largely patriachal society), I think we're heading for increasing social disruption.

    2. Ok I did not think deeper. Must practice more.

    3. No worries Zuo De.

      Just an example: I have two clerks in my department. One is working on his degree, while the other one has a Masters(!). What kind of job can someone with only primary education get? Factory jobs require SPM, and even a few sales clerks I've met have degrees now.

  2. @anon

    Yes, I'm aware of those numbers. I hadn't realise it extended beyond tertiary though.

  3. MASTER, serious. Indeed we have a problem. But with AI, soon most of us would be redundant.