Ini­tia­tive will fos­ter vol­un­teerism among un­der­grad­u­ates, says min­is­ter

New Straits Times - - Front Page - AINA NASA KUALA LUMPUR

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.

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