Karoshi, a Japanese word translated into death by overwork, is a well-known phenomenon in Japanese society. Most victims of karoshi worked long hours to a certain extent of 60 to 70 hours a week. Among others, the root causes are physical pressure, mental stress, burnout that sometimes leads to suicide or karojisatsu 【過労自殺】.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) implementation have brought some pressures and mental stress among employees and students. The employees need to work from home while the students need to attend online classes.
Early this week, my daughter, an undergraduate student at one of the public universities, told me that one of the students in the university passed away due to pressure while the other one was in a coma for the same reason. This morning, the student who was in a coma also passed away. These two incidents were shocking to me, and it is an alarming sign.
Karoshi seems that it does not only affect employees, but it also affects students. The university management should take immediate action to prevent these two incidents from recurring in the future. The students have probably pressure because of the assignment commitments, examinations, the internet connection, family matters, and other personal reasons. Usually, the students take six courses in one semester.
With the volatile and uncertain conditions today, the students have difficulty performing well in their studies. Some lecturers break down the course into many types of assignments as part of formative assessments. For instance, quizzes, tests 1 and 2, individual tasks, group assignments, presentations, and so forth. We can imagine that how much pressure the students have when there are the same patterns for the whole six courses. Perhaps the university should limit the breakdown of the assignments and only fewer assignments for the non-core subjects.
Published by Dr Md Rosli Ismail
Under the Malaysian Government's Look East Policy, he was awarded a scholarship to enrol in the Japanese Preparatory Special Course programme at the University of Malaya before pursuing his first degree at Keio University, Japan (1987-1991). Upon completing his studies, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi headquarter, Tokyo employed him as an international bank executive. After his return to Malaysia, he joined various corporations for 17 years. Among others were D&C Bank (now known as RHB Bank), Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank, Nissho Iwai Corporation (Japanese transnational company), Perodua Sales Sdn. Bhd., and Naza Corporation, which he held the last position as a manager. He joined the University of Selangor (UNISEL) as a full-time academician in 2009. Since then, he had held several managerial positions, which were co-ordinator for Malaysian University English Test (MUET), co-ordinator for English Servicing, head of the programme for Master of Education, and deputy dean (postgraduate & research). He is also the founder of Bright Atfal, which its main activity is early childhood education. He has been an early childhood educational entrepreneur since 2005. Currently, he is a senior lecturer at the Cluster of Education and Social Sciences, Open University Malaysia (OUM).
Doctor of Philosophy, Entrepreneurship & Education (UKM, Malaysia)
Master of Philosophy, Socio Culture & Social Change (UKM, Malaysia)
Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Hons.) (Keio, Japan)
Diploma in Early Childhood Development (SRIC, Malaysia)
Cert. of Japanese Language Proficiency Test (Japan)
Cert. of Businessmen’s English Test and Appraisal (Japan)
Cert. of Teacher Training for Smart Reader Programme (Malaysia)
Areas of Expertise
*Expertise (Narrow Field) based on National Education Code (NEC)
14 Teacher Training and Education Science (141 Teaching & Training)
22 Humanities (226 Philosophy & Ethics)
31 Social & Behavioural Science (312 Sociology & Cultural Studies)
34 Business & Administration (340 Business & Administration)
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