Con­nect­ing to the world

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE -

tHE HELP Ma­tric­u­la­tion Pro­gram (HMC) pro­motes holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion based on two prin­ci­ples – first, an ed­u­ca­tion that con­nects the stu­dent to the world and sec­ond, re­spond­ing to the stu­dent’s needs with an open, in­quis­i­tive mind and a sen­si­tive un­der­stand­ing of the world in which he or she is de­vel­op­ing and grow­ing as an in­di­vid­ual.

By con­nect­ing to the world, HMC in­tro­duces stu­dents to lead­er­ship pro­grammes un­der the HMC Lead­er­ship and De­vel­op­ment Sphere (HMC L.E.A.D.S.) which of­fers a va­ri­ety of spheres such as the Events Sphere, So­cial Sphere, Ex­pe­ri­en­tial Ed­u­ca­tion, Ex­cur­sion Sphere and Pub­li­ca­tions Sphere that cater to­wards ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties that re­quire sound lead­er­ship and team-build­ing skills.

Each sphere brings with it a spe­cialty for the stu­dent to ex­plore and take part in.

Stu­dents are in­volved in many sig­na­ture events such as the HMC RUSH (a race run along sim­i­lar lines as the TV re­al­ity show, The Amaz­ing Race), which has been or­gan­ised in many lo­ca­tions, among them Langkawi, Aus­tralia and Pe­nang.

The pro­gramme is de­signed to bring out the best in stu­dents, sharp­en­ing their event man­age­ment skills and de­vel­op­ing team­work, es­sen­tial soft skills for the real world.

As another in­tro­duc­tion to the real world, Cor­po­rate Re­spon­si­bil­ity is also nur­tured through ac­tiv­i­ties like AniHELP (An­i­mals and HELP) and by aid­ing the HELP Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­tre, which houses close to 100 Myan­mar chil­dren so that stu­dents un­der­stand eth­i­cal val­ues and re­spect peo­ple, com­mu­nity and the en­vi­ron­ment.

One of the most suc­cess­ful events for 2013, C2AGE, or­gan­ised by HMC stu­dents, at­tracted a crowd of 5,000 at HELP Col­lege of Arts and Tech­nol­ogy, with mem­bers of the pub­lic as well as spe­cial guests from Ja­pan and the Philip­pines throng­ing the cor­ri­dors in var­i­ous Ja­panese anime cos­tumes. Al­ready in its sev­enth year, the event is tes­ti­mony to the ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment of stu­dents and lec­tur­ers to en­sure the suc­cess of an event.

On the sec­ond prin­ci­ple, HMC lec­tur­ers ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of new ar­eas of learn­ing by open­ing the in­quis­i­tive minds of stu­dents with sen­si­tiv­ity to the world he or she is grow­ing up in. The in­tro­duc­tion of a new mod­ule ti­tled Cul­ture Arts and Pol­i­tics will fur­ther pro­vide the stu­dents with a com­pet­i­tive edge over oth­ers.

Fac­ulty of Univer­sity Foun­da­tion Stud­ies dean Dhanesh Balakr­ish­nan says, “This is the hard part. A holis­tic teacher can­not be a tech­ni­cian ad­min­is­ter­ing a se­ries of work­book ex­er­cises or per­form­ing a script he or she learned in a teacher train­ing pro­gramme.

“A holis­tic teacher is acutely sen­si­tive to the stu­dent’s needs and at the same time acutely aware of the chal­lenges and pos­si­bil­i­ties the world of­fers this per­son at this mo­ment and in this place.”

To en­sure stu­dents are ex­posed to the right think­ing, HMC has in­tro­duced sub­jects such as Crit­i­cal Think­ing Skills, Per­sonal De­vel­op­ment and Lead­er­ship, Cul­ture Arts and Pol­i­tics, Hu­man Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Pub­lic Re­la­tions and In­tro­duc­tion to Le­gal Stud­ies, to stim­u­late stu­dents to think out­side the box and em­power them with crit­i­cal think­ing abil­i­ties as well as com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills.

In this way, stu­dents can feel part of the whole­ness of the universe and learn­ing will nat­u­rally be en­chanted and invit­ing.

This goal is worked on and ac­com­plished through a ded­i­cated team of lec­tur­ers, who act not only as lec­tur­ers but as men­tors to their stu­dents. The idea is not just to im­part knowl­edge but also to in­spire them to be­come use­ful mem­bers of so­ci­ety.

With a choice of ei­ther a Foun­da­tion in Arts or a Foun­da­tion in Sci­ence pro­gramme, suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the Foun­da­tion pro­gramme pro­vides di­rect en­try into un­der­grad­u­ate pro­grammes at HELP such as the Busi­ness, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Law, IT, Early Childhood De­vel­op­ment, Hos­pi­tal­ity and Tourism and Psy­chol­ogy.

On top of that, the Foun­da­tion pro­gramme is in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised and ac­cepted as an en­try qual­i­fi­ca­tion to pres­ti­gious uni­ver­si­ties in Aus­tralia, the United King­dom, the United States, New Zealand and Rus­sia. Many of those gain­ing en­try into top uni­ver­si­ties have gone on to ob­tain top hon­ours.

Vic­to­ria Yeong Foong Yee, for­merly a Foun­da­tion stu­dent, at­tained her Bach­e­lor of Psy­chol­ogy, First Class Hon­ours and was also awarded the Tan Sri Datuk Paduka Dr Ha­j­jah Saleha Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment Award, in­di­ca­tion of the stellar ground­ing she re­ceived dur­ing her Foun­da­tion course.

Another out­stand­ing Foun­da­tion stu­dent, Lim Su Wee, ob­tained a par­tial schol­ar­ship to en­ter Univer­sity of Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia. He at­trib­uted his in­de­pen­dent life­style dur­ing the Foun­da­tion pro­gramme for his con­fi­dence to adapt quickly when he ar­rived at the univer­sity.

Han Pei Wen re­cently com­pleted her Bach­e­lor of Com­merce at Univer­sity of Queens­land and was in the Dean’s Com­men­da­tion List for her ex­cel­lent re­sults.

For­mer stu­dent Aisya Na­dia Musa dis­tin­guished her­self at Univer­sity of Leeds with a Sec­ond Class Up­per (Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence) and was of­fered a place at King’s Col­lege Lon­don to com­plete her Mas­ters in Health Psy­chol­ogy.

“We want to see stu­dents as re­flec­tions of our moral sen­si­tiv­ity as ed­u­ca­tors, rather than as static bod­ies of in­tel­lec­tual con­tent. We bring eco­log­i­cal lit­er­acy, emo­tional lit­er­acy and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity to our stu­dents through our own pres­ence,” says Dhanesh.

The next in­take for the Foun­da­tion pro­gramme is Jan 13. Stu­dents with ex­cel­lent re­sults are en­cour­aged to ap­ply for merit schol­ar­ships.

For de­tails, call 03-2094 2000, e-mail mar­ket­ing@help.edu.my or log on to http://www.help.edu.my

Lim adapted well at Mel­bourne Univer­sity and he felt the stellar HELP Foun­da­tion pro­gramme pre­pared him well for life at the cam­pus.

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