More important to accumulate experience and practise lifelong learning, says expert

PETALING JAYA: Most Malaysians are not required to pursue higher education beyond their first degree, but must cultivate a lifelong learning mentality to help form an educated and well-informed nation in the digital age.

Professor Datuk Teo Kok Seong said the paper chase does not necessarily involve having more than one degree as most times, it will not help them in their working life.

“I agree that may seem to be the trend now, but not everyone needs to have an education beyond the first degree. In professions like law, you don’t need a Masters to practise. It doesn’t have a bearing on your salary, you just need to accumulate the relevant working experience,” he told theSun yesterday.

A study conducted by polish firm Picodi last year revealed an astonishing find.

Malaysia is one of the highest ranked among the world’s biggest spenders on books, with up to 76% of Malaysians purchasing at least one book a year.

But according to the study, the statistic did not reflect their reading habits, as Malaysians purchased books due to a sale, discounts, a friend’s recommendation or a blogger’s review.

It also said this 76% enjoyed reading fiction, thrillers, romance and crime novels, which are not educational.

Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Rasdi of the UCSI University recently said there were many bookstores that have been replaced by stores selling manga and romance novels.

Teo, a principal research fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies at University Kebangsaan Malaysia, concurred with Mohd Tajuddin.

“Only a handful of Malaysians are a reading bunch. We need to change this mentality and start a culture of lifelong learning for self-improvement,” he said.

“We have so many materials to help us do that nowadays, especially through electronic and social media. Lifelong learning will not only enrich us, it will serve us greatly in so many ways in future.”

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