Educators: Are you producing a good person or good worker?

TUESDAY, 03 AUGUST 2010 16:27
By Kuah Guan Oo

BANGI, 3 Aug 2010
– Deputy Minister of Higher Education Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today challenged educators to ponder over their work and see whether they are producing a good  person or a good worker.

He said they generally seemed to be producing a good worker, instead of a good person.  A good person is also a thinking person and he would invariably be a good worker.

“If we can produce a good person, he would be a good worker,” he said when officiating the opening of the two-day national seminar on education (SKEPEN 2010) with the theme “Transformation and Innovation in National Education” here.

The 4th edition of SKEPEN was jointly organized by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the Higher Education Ministry, the Education Ministry and MARA.

Among the objectives of the seminar are to encourage scholars and leaders of education to share their research, theories and experiences in formulating a strategy to resolve and to re-construct current thoughts on education to meet the changing global demand and to come up with a strategic plan to bring about the transformation and innovation in education as desired by the Government.

Dato’ Saiffudin said the question for the educators was how they could create the profile of a good man before they could design the programmes and materials or inputs to “produce” such a good person.

“If we are serious in improving the quality of our education, then we must think about how we can achieve it. We need thinkers, who can write and compile books until they become ‘the voice’ in the field of education,” he said.

Stressing on the importance of educators coming out with better teaching methods he said, “If we love our younger generations, we have no other options” but to improve our education system.

Earlier, UKM Vice Chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin in her welcoming speech said, that to meet the demand and pressure for change, UKM has undertaken various measures to bring about the transformation and innovation in all fields of studies, whether at the level of  Advance Diploma,  undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.

 “UKM has also sponsored many programmes and activities, all with the aim of making UKM a leading research university, “ she said in her speech read out by her deputy, Prof Dato’ Ir Dr Hassan Basri.

She said the research produced by the university’s academic staff with their discipline and academic integrity, could serve as useful inputs to the Government, especially in formulating better methods and system of education in the country.

The latest innovation in education undertaken by UKM was the setting up of  a national centre for gifted children (Pusat Permata Pintar Negara) at the campus in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University of the US where they prepared more suitable and productive methods to teach the gifted children.

To ensure that the graduates of UKM received a holistic education and be more marketable, she said the university had introduced a generic skill evaluation system (Sistem Penilaian Kemahiran Generik or SPKG) last year.

“Each student is guided and stimulated to acquire eight to 16 generic skills that are embedded in their courses of studies.

“This is among the examples of the transformation and innovation undertaken by UKM to meet the human capital needed to build the nation,” she said.

Prof  Sharifah Hapsah said the needs of the lower levels of education also received the focus of UKM researchers. “A solid early education system is vital to ensure continuity when they enter a higher level of education,” she added.