As I sat through the graduation ceremony, watching 65 school drop outs and SPM flunkers, strut joyfully up the stage to receive their certificate from a Minister from the Prime Minister’s office, I nearly teared, watching these boys and girls whom were considered a "lost cause" by their own parents and teachers at school, proudly showing off their certificates.
Ofcourse, if you compare their certificates with a Diploma and Degree certificate, it’s nothing big but to them it was something enormous. It was their ticket for a second chance to life. With this certificate which they worked hard for a year plus, they can now apply for proper jobs applicable via the certificate.
Two hours before that, I actually walked nimbly into the hall, expecting another boring event. But I regretted assuming as Life dealt me another lesson.
After the graduation ceremony and right after the press conference with the minister, I rushed to meet atleast three of these children and asked them how they felt. All of these kids were aged around 16 to 20’s and they’re school drop outs. As the Education Blueprint puts them, "the lost boys". Some did horrendously bad for their SPM examinations, ending up working as cleaners and some even worst, succumbing to drugs.
However, thanks to the MySkills Foundation (you can look it up) these kids were given a second lease to life. Currently, the foundation provides these children with skill trainings consisting of mechatronics, electronics and legal secretarial training/courses for boys and girls alike.
I wish you were there, because these words can’t simply sum what I witnessed. To me, this was news as a bunch of 65 once "good for nothings" finally receiving certificates (and some are already working in their respective fields already mind you).
Education should not be constricted to grades alone. Education should branch out further than grades, it should branch out to skills and values. It should be free too if you ask me.
I met the founder, Mr Pasupathi Sithamparam, a very humble and down to earth man and we had a good short chat. I suggested to him to branch out to providing creative skills to these kids as well. You’ll be surprised, if you hand one or two of them a camera and the photos and videos they can take can sweep you off your feet.
Mr Pasupathi said the course is open to all Malaysians who are school drop outs and SPM underachievers who wish to do something with their lives.
Friends, I value education. I value life too. I’ve posted the link to the MySkills Foundation web page. If you have friends, relatives who are in this predicament and if you think they can do something with their lives, I suggest clicking on the link and getting in touch with the team. As someone close to my Heart once said, "The End of Education is Character" Today, I saw character in the 65 "lost boys and girls" 🙂
The MySkills Foundation Page: http://www.myskills.org.my/index.html
#Fact: Every year, nearly 7,000 students drop out from school. Reason: They don’t find memorising formulas interesting. These different “class” of students are creative in their own ways as they do better in practical related jobs.