Education innovation

27 October 2012 – PUTRAJAYA: THE Higher Education Ministry has come up with an ambitious proposal to groom highly-marketable university graduates from primary school level.

For this, the ministry will work hand-in-glove with the Education Ministry to tweak the school education system to include syllabi that would make students more creative and innovative.

The holistic approach would see students being guided from primary school level all the way to tertiary level.

Higher Education director- general Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa said the ministry’s proposal also included courses to hone undergraduates’ entrepreneurial skills as well as encourage multi-skilling. This, he said, would increase their human capital value and marketability for the job market.

“This can come in the form of classes that teach students to be creative in their primary years, innovative in their secondary and multi-skilled as well as enterprising when they are at the tertiary level.

“Our graduates are not benefiting much from our exam-oriented system and this will decrease their value when they join the work force.”

Rujhan said the grasp of languages should also be strengthened.

“We are a multilingual country. We share so much diversity, yet we do not share each other’s language, which is a pity,” he said, adding that mastering the languages of the country’s main races, at least, should be done at the primary and secondary levels.

Rujhan said the ministry was still in discussion with the Education Ministry on the specifics of the proposal so that it could be fully implemented in the National Education Blueprint.

The preliminary report of the blueprint was announced in September and will be finalised by January.
Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Asma Ismail said more should be done to realise the dream of creating an innovative society.

“The problem now is that we are dividing students into streams as soon as they reach secondary school.

“There is no merger between the arts and science streams.

“When a scientist creates something, he will almost always go to a lawyer to patent his creation and will likely approach venture companies to pump money into his ideas and designs.

“What we can expect if the system is revamped is to make students more collaborative.

“They will move steadily forward in becoming a well-rounded individual who will push the country into becoming an innovative nation.”

Asma also said the current school syllabus failed to include innovation and creativity in the learning process.

“The curriculum should include how to think out of the box and when students are guided in the right direction as early as in the lower primary stage, you can get young creative and innovative entrepreneurs as young as 10 years old.”

Asma said this would also help in changing the mindset of students that anyone could be innovative, creative and successful, adding that higher learning institutions should also look into revamping their syllabus and get their students involved in collaborative and innovative programmes.

“It can come in the form of classes, workshops, or seminars; it is up to the institution. But what is important is that these students are equipped with critical skills regardless of their major.”

(Source: Education innovation – Top News – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/top-news/education-innovation-1.162795#ixzz2AkCO25cg)

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