JAN 29 (TMI) — Anas Alam Faizli
Education was institutionalised to formalise the process of knowledge acquisition and research in man’s quest for understanding. The earliest universities in the history of mankind, namely Al-Azhar, Bologna, Oxford, Palencia, Cambridge and the University of Naples (world’s first public university, 1224), have one thing in common; they were built by notable early world civilisations as institutions of research, discourse, learning, proliferation of knowledge and documentation. This contrasts largely from the role of universities today as institutions of human capital accreditation, qualification and, most unfortunately, business and profits.
Ibnu Khaldun, father of historiography, sociology and economics, in his work “Prolegomenon” (Muqaddimah), argued that the government would only gain strength and sovereignty through its citizens. This strength can only be sustained by wealth, which can only be acquired through human capital development (education), which in turn can only be achieved by justice and inclusiveness for all. Aristotle too proposed: “Education should be one and the same for all.”
A system that discriminates, in our case, based on household economic ability, can and will rile an unhealthy imbalance in the quality of the resulting labour force and society. These form the basis of our argument here.
In America, the individual funds his higher education while many European countries have public-funded institutions of higher learning. The latter is the best for Malaysia. Our societal and economic progression (or digression) does not depend on any one factor, but on the interaction of economic, social and political factors over a long period of time.
Let’s first look at some realities that we need to contend with to understand why the Malaysian government should fund higher education…..read more