GAP YEAR PLAN WILL BOOST UNITY, VOLUNTEERISM IN STUDENTS
Initiative will foster volunteerism among undergraduates, says minister
THE Gap Year programme, an initiative by the Higher Education Ministry to produce holistic students, will inculcate patriotism and develop a love for voluntary work among undergraduates.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, said the programme, which would kick off in September and involve two universities, would also allow undergraduates to explore their interests.
“We are working on the programme with the police, army, Civil Defence Department (JPAM) and National Service,” he said at the 21st Malaysian Education Summit here yesterday.
Among the positions students could take up, Idris said, were cadet police officers, army officers or JPAM officers.
“The programme can inculcate unity and volunteerism.
“Students can take a year off and do what they like.”
Universiti Malaya (UM) ViceChancellor Tan Sri Professor Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin lauded the programme, saying the university had undertaken a similar initiative.
“We have a gap year in medical courses. It is a good policy as it allows for flexibility,” he told the New Straits Times.
UM, he said, would look into improving the programme by collaborating with major industry players.
“We want to dream big. Maybe for Computer Science students, we can collaborate with Silicon Valley in the United States.
“It has many benefits. Students can learn about the industry while (they are) studying, and experience a different landscape.”
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (fifth from right) at the launch of the 21st Malaysian Education Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.