Sunday September 25, 2011
Students as agents of change
By PRIYA KULASAGARAN
UNIVERSITY students will go down to the ground to help provide ideas on resolving various issues affecting society.
By meeting the people, they could become agents of change and do more to contribute to the country’s development, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
He added that students could benefit by responding to the needs of society.
“By taking part in programmes that focus on local issues such as poverty and corruption, students can gain a better understanding of current issues, build character and develop their communication skills.
“These skills cannot be taught in the classroom and students need to be more pro-active in seeking out such opportunities,” he said after launching the “Youth Defined: Shape Our Future” programme at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) recently.
Initiated by youth trust foundation myHarapan, the programme aims to promote youth participation and understanding of national plans such as the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Mohamed Khaled said the ministry was developing other initiatives to engage the youth.
“These initiatives will involve students going out into the community.
“For example, the International Islamic University Malaysia will send its students to drug ‘hot spots’ in Kuala Lumpur so they can observe and come up with ideas to help curb the problem.
“Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris is working to attract more students in the fields of mathematics and science by improving the teaching methods of those subjects in school.
“We are also looking at enabling students who get involved in GTP or ETP-based activities to get university credit for their work,” he said.
Also present at the launch were Higher Education Department director-general Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa, UPM vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi and myHarapan chairman Roslan Bakri Zakaria.
The “Youth Defined” programme, which also aims to gather the younger generation’s input on national initiatives, will be extended to participating universities nationwide.
They are Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
The programme culminates in a convention in Selangor on Oct 22.