A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
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Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Important QOL Factors, But Who's Accurately Measuring Them?
Corporate real estate executives readily agree that health care and education are important quality-of-life factors in location decisions. But few say their firms can accurately measure their impact.
Consider this conundrum in looking at how health-care costs are impacting corporate location decisions. On the one hand, Ford Motor Co. executives have reported that they are spending the equivalent of $311 a vehicle for health care for the company’s American employees. In its Canadian facilities, though, Ford has found that it is spending some !six! times less. On the other hand, here’s a comment from a recent Site Selection survey of corporate real estate executives on quality- of-life (QOL) issues: "We rarely -- in fact, never -- have considered health-care costs as a factor in site selection."
That comment was typical of the SS corporate-side survey response: Only 13 percent of corporate real estate executives said their companies are "able to accurately measure health- care costs when considering various locations for a facility."
That low percentage of companies saying they can gauge health-care costs for potential locations is somewhat surprising in light of the fact that larger and larger amounts of corporate funds are being sucked into the black hole that health care has become in the corporate world. In the U.S., for example, health- care costs are expected to break the $2 billion-a-day barrier before year’s end.
Moreover, several of the corporate real estate executives who say their companies can accurately measure and compare health-care costs among potential locations say that the information necessary to fashion those cost comparisons is readily available. Other findings from this year’s Geo-Life corporate-side survey include:
-- Despite the survey’s finding of a general lack of accurate measurement of health-care costs in location decisions, the issue is playing a role in some siteselection decisions. Some 17 percent of survey respondents say their companies are using health care "as a tiebreaking factor between comparable sites."
-- Likewise, health care is also playing a role in the areas and countries some corporations are avoiding. Thirteen percent of responding corporate real estate executives say their firms avoid particular areas in the U.S. "because of what [the firm] considers excessive health-care costs." And in considering locations outside the U.S., 20 percent of respondents from firms with international operations are avoiding certain areas and countries "because of excessive health-care costs or the lack of available quality health care."
-- Corporations are apparently much more readily able to take a hard-cost look at health-care expenditures once the location leap has been made. Seventy- two percent of responding corporate real estate executives say their firms "can estimate health-care costs as a percentage of annual operating costs at...present locations."
-- Corporate real estate executives are apparently enjoying more success in measuring another important qualityof- life variable, education. Thirty-two percent of respondents say their companies "can quantify the educational quality of potential locations as a cost of recruiting." Another 19 percent say their firms can quantify educational quality as a cost of turnover. Here’s a more in-depth look at the issues examined in this year’s Geo-Life corporate-side survey.
Author: Jack Lyne
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Issues and Challenges
3.3 The current secondary education structure has raised several issues including the different number of schooling years as compared to most other countries, a curriculum that is too broad in scope, the choice of exiting from formal schooling after the Malaysia Certificate of Education (SPM), and the unstandardised entrance qualifications into institutions of higher learning. To overcome these issues, it is pertinent for the MOE to restructure the current secondary education structure from a 3+2+2 system to a 4+2 system.
3.4 With regards to increasing access to secondary education, the MOE faces the issue of significant attrition rate of students from Form 1 to Form 5 (20% for the 1996-2000 cohort). The MOE also faces the issues of low participation rate in the science stream (27.7% for the year 2000) which is far from the targeted ratio of 60 percent in science and technology compared to 40 percent in arts; the issue of decreasing enrolment rate for the Form 6 programme; and the challenge of increasing opportunities for secondary education for students who are poor and with long-term health problems.
3.5 To increase equity in secondary education, the MOE faces the challenge of fulfilling the increasing demands for residential, religious, and technical/vocational schools. The MOE needs to focus on rural secondary schools that are facing more infrastructure development problems and are more dependant on government allocation as compared to urban secondary schools; and problems of teacher deployment according to option and location; and the need to ensure all secondary school teachers are university graduates by 2010.
3.6 To improve the quality of secondary education, the MOE faces the challenge of improving and strengthening the present secondary education programmes as well as introducing new ones. The improvement of quality in secondary education covers aspects such as curricular and co-curricular activities, science and technology education, English language, infrastructure, teaching aids, student assessment, student welfare, quantity and quality of teachers, and pecial education.