Students who have completed their foundation level must think wisely before embarking on an academic path that may seem promising at this moment.

MANY aspiring students may agree with the recent statement made by the Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon: “Parents should give freedom to their children to select their desired courses in their academic pursuits.”

To a certain extent, this freedom plays an important role in enhancing students’ self-motivation in performing well academically, but parents shouldn’t overlook the importance of guiding their children to exercise this freedom wisely.

Over the past three decades, I had seen many ambitious students, though graduated with good results, were incapable of performing to their full potential in their career pursuits due to qualification mismatches.

Only a handful of the unfortunate graduates had the ability and financial resources to pursue a second qualification to overcome their existing academic shortcomings.

Those who couldn’t afford to do so had to take up jobs which were not related to their field of study.

Let me share a quagmire encountered by my daughter eight years ago, but subsequently turned into a blessing in disguise.

Upon completing her first level accountancy studies then, she suffered a serious distraction in her studies. She felt accountancy wasn’t a profession that would allow her to fulfil her career aspirations; instead pharmacy was the path she would like to pursue for her future.

For more than a year, she wasn’t able to concentrate on her studies, thus causing her to skip one sitting in her accountancy exam.

When I was about to arrange for her admission into a college to pursue pharmacy, she suddenly regained confidence in continuing her accountancy studies.

Not only did she manage to achieve outstanding results in her accountancy exams from then onwards, she went ahead to build a promising career in the accounting profession upon her graduation more than six years ago.

I dread to imagine what would be the impact on her academic journey if she had abandoned accountancy to embark on a new course eight years ago. She is not only enjoying her job now but also the opportunity that enables her to travel far and wide.

I urge those students who have completed their foundation level to think wisely before embarking on an academic path that may seem promising at this moment.

A number of professions are facing a glut in the local job market now and the situation may take a few years to normalise. Do not hesitate to seek your parents’ opinion in selecting the right courses to pursue.

Also, don’t forget to brush up on your command of English.

PATRICK TEH

Ipoh, Perak

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