Assalamualaikum, wish you all are in your best of health and blessed by Allah always insyaallah.
This morning, when I'm on my way to an appointment at Petaling Jaya area along with my fellow consultant, we were discussing on what actually the real function of the university. Is it just to produce graduates with excellent academic qualification? Does academic qualification is all that matters?
If we observe currently, many universities are striving to get listed as among the best university. Thus, one of the major qualification, is the academic performance of its students. I'm not denying the important of academic study, but the problem is that most of the student study merely for exam and getting a good result. But is that enough? Does academic excellence per say can guarantee a successful life for a person? If that the case, it just like you are going to the school to study hard and pass with flying colours. The different is just that the subject is more detail and complex but the concept is still the same. Is the university a place for you to gain knowledge per say? Are we just producing knowledgeable people only? What about competence and skillful people?
My concern is on the practicality aspect. Most of the thing that we learned in the campus is not 100% applied in the real life. But that is not the main concern. The real concern is that, what does a university really contribute to the society? Many student nowadays too focuses on the in-class education. But that only 20% of what really happen out there. That why many graduates are unable to adapt to the new environment accordingly. They lack of skills and attitudes. Some might argue, that to supply skills is not the responsibility of the university, but remember the corporate sector are only interested with those who possesses a competence skills and attitudes. Hence, it is advisable for the students to be equipped with relevant skills before they graduates from the university in order for them to be marketable.
Knowledge is only part and parcel of the process of personal development. It requires other aspect as well in order to complete it circle which are Attitudes and Skills. These thing cannot be taught and spell out in the class. There is no text book that talk on this particular subject. The only way for you to gain these is by exploring all possibles opportunities along the way. Meaning that, university should focuses more on the skills and attitudes development and of course with guidance of knowledge. The knowledge that is taught is piratical and relevant to the real world. Meaning that, studying is not in-class per say, it also involve corporate and manufacturing exposure to the student. For example, if the class is on financial management, why not ask the students not just learned from the text book but also bring them to the real world of banking finance so that they could see what really going on out there. Its not just making the learning process more fun and exciting, they also can directly apply what they have learned in class. The educational system today focus too much on the theoretical aspect rather than the practical aspect. That why the quality of our graduates is questionable.
The university should focus more in research and development by engaging in smart partnership with corporate sector or manufacturing sector. So that, this will prove to them that the university is capable to supply a competence human resource that meets to the market demands. Sadly that only happen in other countries like Singapore. In addition, this will help to secure the graduates future career. By doing these activities, it will make the present of the university felt by the corporate and manufacturing sector because they depend on the competence human resource that the university provide. Again, sadly things still remain the same for past several years.
Hence, university should know it true function which is a platform for a student to explore all the possible opportunities that will enable them to be a competence person. It is not merely a place for them to just go to class and listen to the lectures. That would just the same as at school. But they should be given a change to explore new things, learned new skills and creates their own personal values which will help them to shape their future. Nowadays, academic qualification is only a prerequisite for an individual, but what really determine the true potentials is the combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes. If a university could really inculcate all these three element in theirs graduates, they will produce a highly competence work force. Moreover, this will help to reduce the workload of the students which of course will makes them more happier and motivated to study more.
So, the first step is to start to revise the syllabus and involve more practical elements in the learning process.
LET'S PRODUCE MORE COMPETENCE GRADUATES.
MOHD IKHWAN B MOHD JAMIL
Thursday, 10 June 2010