Women on the other side of the world are reversing gender inequality in education. In Malaysia, the number of female students is increasing annually, creating serious competition for males, Ecem Hepçiçekli reports.
Accessibility to higher education rate is nearly 100 per cent for female students, but a quota system equalises the numbers of men, according to Ille Gebeshuber, Professor of Physics in Malaysia National University.
Female students are performing better than males in secondary school and getting the highest grades more often than men, however not all are accepted by universities.
In the British grading system, which is currently used in Malaysia, the first quarter of the students considered as successful is predominantly female. In this case, there is a quota system not to cause a disparity in the number of male and female students.
“If there were not any quota system for genders in our university, student ratio would be 98 per cent females and two per cent males. This is not acceptable,” Prof Gebeshuber stated. She thinks that people need role models from both genders for all professions.
On the other hand, female students might owe their success to their good memories. The Malaysian educational system in secondary school is mostly based on learning by heart and girls perform well in memorising. Conversely, it doesn’t provide creativity or problem solving skills.
“When you learn something by heart, you learn something which everybody else knows. There’s nothing which discriminates you from the rest of the world,” said Prof Gebeshuber.
The role of teachers in training unique students is essential. Gebeshuber thinks that teachers like students who memorise all the subjects, know all the answers and do not cause any problems.
Nevertheless, they have to leave their comfort zone and challenge problematic kids. Strong will and curiosity must be taught from childhood in the same way for both females and males. Personal curiosity, having a strong will and being determined are the most important characteristics.
Yet a high number of female graduates in various study directions does not mean success all the time. Women, who work in professions that are hard to be accepted by society, sometimes give up.