They say young Malaysians are lacking when it comes to general knowledge. To test if this statement is true, Free Malaysia Today asked public university students questions ranging from basic geography, history, to current affairs. Unfortunately, the results seem to prove it.
The majority of the undergraduates were not able to answer questions on geography, history, nor current issues correctly. On the bright side, they were able to answer questions about the plane tragedies in Malaysia.
The youth's geography is so bad they actually fail to identify our neighbouring country. A large number thought the country lying south of Malaysia was Thailand instead of Singapore.
There was also a lot of confusion among youths on our local history wise. Many mixed up the date of establishment of the Malaysian federation with the date of Malaysia's independence. One student confidently answered 31st August 1957, instead of 1963. Others answered with the correct date and month, 16th September but confused themselves with the wrong year.
For current news, students were poorly informed. When questioned on the current conflicts in the Middle East predominantly Syria, many said it was due to petroleum, poverty, or racism. However, it actually revolves around the Islamic State (IS) which only some answered correctly. The silver lining would be that students scored better when questioned on where MAS airplane MH17 took off from, most correctly answered Amsterdam.
In the comments section, shots were fired as readers pointed out the possible reason for our youth's poor general knowledge. Many blamed the government for its poor education system in prioritising grades rather than promoting knowledge gathering.
Many were not surprised. Others believe that the responsibility of developing knowledge in youths should not be dumped onto the government alone as it is also the parents' responsibility.
Furthermore, they say students are not interested in general knowledge, with no thanks to local TV broadcast that now focus more on drama and entertainment versus educational documentaries
The older generation might have had more initiative to learn about the world and issues surrounding them as subjects like world history was once part of the school syllabus