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Plantations – back from the brink
Mahbob Abdullah | 06 Jul 2018 00:30
For some time before the May general election, I had felt the country was falling into a totalitarian state, and there would be no change without bloodshed. But the transition happened in a civilised way. Tanks did not roll into the streets, and there was no need to stock food in the house after all. Now we can look forward to a brighter future, in all aspects of life, including in industry.

Coming from the plantation industry, I am very hopeful that it too will move on strongly. The industry can do well if it has good management by people with passion, and integrity, at all levels of supervision, including the management, the headmen and staff.

As at all supervisory levels, the management staff have to be knowledgeable, hardworking, have courage and able to lead. It will help if the standard of education in government institutions can rise again, so that graduates have the knowledge and the right skills that employers are looking for.

On the other hand, graduates of private universities tend to be better prepared. They have a high level of technical knowledge, and they seem to read more widely, which would help in their roles as leaders. They also have a good ability to communicate.

Generally, there seems to be a gap between the two. If we allow the divide to continue, eventually there is a risk that the students who had gone to government colleges will be less skilled and less articulate and cannot compete for the top jobs. Parents can see the likelihood of this happening. Despite being of limited means many parents struggle so their children can go to private college.

Some private institutions are telling me: “Thanks to the poor government education system, we are doing well.”

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