In the spirit of Merdeka, let us all have a think about this statement. “Our future depends on our next generation”. I totally agree with this statement and I believe for all parents, we want to make sure that the next generation is better off than we are. But how are we doing this and is there anything we can do? Yesterday was the results release day for Cambridge IGCSE/O Levels/ AS & A Levels. Two of my friends’ children also received their IGCSE results yesterday. They both did extremely well, straight As! After chatting with them, I started thinking what was I doing when I was 15 years old.
When I was 15 years old
That was when Dr M was still the prime minister and we were curious about Vision 2020 (“Wawasan 2020”). At that time, I was busy preparing for my PMR exams and the only extra curricular activity I took was tennis. I think it was also the first time I went to cinema and watch a movie called “One Fine Day”. Apart from that, the coolest thing I did (at 15 years old) was walking to Subang Parade after my tennis lesson (from Holiday Villa) and eat ice cream in Swensen’s!
Today’s 15 years old
Those who did fast track programme or goes to International School would have completed their O Levels and now pursuing their A Levels or Pre-U or Foundation. The kids in this generation seems to mature faster than our generation (or my generation). I don’t personally know any 15-years old so I will use the example from my 2 friends who have 15-years old kids.
One friend sent me this whatsapp message (in his words which I copied and pasted):
“When your kids grow up you will know these days each kid will go through 8-10 calculators by 16. Most lost. Others stolen and found years later in old school bags. Also headsets broken because he slept on it in school bus. 3 laptops and 2 iPads so far. All broken because he too intense reading and searching math challenge and couldn’t be bothered about device. Plus 2 iPhones in the last 2 yrs. This is the new generation”
Yes, I totally agree that this is the new generation. But all this aside, his son now is doing his A Levels in a college and his aim is to get into Cambridge math. To be very honest, I definitely would not know what Cambridge Math was when I was 15 years old. Even now, I probably need to google to find out more about it. For those who doesn’t know, you can find out about Cambridge Math here.
Another friend shared with me that her daughter has applied for scholarships in a few schools and have received full scholarship in one of the International Schools in Malaysia to do her A Levels. When I was 15, I wait for my parents to tell me what to do. I applied for PTPTN loan because my dad told me so. This girl started applying for scholarships when she was 12 years old for her O Levels and now for her A Levels and this was not because her parents didn’t have the means to send her to a good school or that they stressed her to do well and get scholarships. She did this all on her own and informed her parents later on to get guidance from them to fill in the application form.
In both scenarios, I am amazed with the maturity shown by this 2 teenagers. This will be our next generation, our future or even our vision 2060.
The next generation: will we get to see it?
I often wonder if I will still be alive to see the future of Malaysia, the future of our next generation. From what I observe, my friends’ children do tend to follow their characteristics and traits. (Of course, since they are their parents) So what does this mean? Being a mother myself, I realized how much of an influence I have on my baby. If we want our future generation to be better off than us; if we want them to build a prosperous and fair economy; if we want them to create a diverse, creative and innovative society, we ourselves need to be positive and set good examples to our children.
They may not know right from wrong; it is our duty to guide them so they can tell right from wrong. They may wander aimlessly with no direction; it is us who should support them with the right tools and foundation so that they have aims and purpose in their lives.
Even if we don’t get to see what happens in future, we should believe in our next generation and play our parts so that we will have no regrets when we leave this world. I believe that the world will continue to change and evolve in a pace faster than we can imagine and we will need a generation of creative, innovative and optimistic young people that will turn the challenges they face into opportunities. So let’s have hope this Merdeka and let’s believe in our next generation.