Sunday, November 30, 2008

IDRIS HARON: No quota to rectify gender imbalance


The Higher Education Ministry does not plan to set a quota for undergraduate entry that would enable more male students to enter universities to overcome the gender imbalance of undergraduate students.

Its minister Datuk Idris Haron said that the ministry was confident that the phenomenon of more female students than male students in public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) would not jeapardise the number of male students being involved in the professional field in future.

“We would like to reiterate that we don’t practice gender discrimination against high ranking staff or students and would not introduce any quota to offset the student gender imbalance,” he said.

Efforts had been made to create awareness among male students on IPTA entry through educational programmes, seminars and forums, exhibitions and outreach programmes, he said.

As of July this year, 60.39% of students in all IPTA were female while the rest were male, however, at the PhD level, there were more male students than females, with 62% males and 38% females, he said.

More male students were also enrolled in polytechnic institutions and community colleges as of January this year; 56% males and 44% females in polytechnic institutions while 57% males and 43% females were in community colleges, said Idris.

Khairy Jamaluddin (BN - Rembau) had asked the ministry in Parliament Wednesday to state the statistics of male and female graduates in IPTA and efforts in overcoming the imbalance between the genders.

Idris said student entry into IPTA was very competitive because the space was limited and demands continue to increase.

“Female students in secondary schools outperformed male students resulting in more female students getting a place in undergraduate studies in the IPTA,” he said.

Khairy also asked whether the Ministry would work with the Education Ministry to change the examination-oriented curriculum to a more coursework-based curriculum and to look at the overall performance of a student rather than just academic.

Idris admitted that based on the Bloom’s Taxonomy (classification of levels of intellectual behaviour important in learning), girls tend to do better academically because they have better cognitive abilities while boys have better psychomotor skills. He added that the ministries are already working together.

The Higher Education Ministry would continue to create awareness among male students on the importance of academic achievements in facing future challenges, he said.

He added that the condition for IPTA entry was 90% academic achievements and 10% co-curriculum and this could help address some of the imbalance...Parliament: No quota to rectify gender imbalance Malaysia Star, Malaysia.

BERITADARIGUNUNG: Idris is still learning the intricities of life and politics. He should also learn and ponder on social equilibrium! Hanging out with khairy will not make him look better.