August 17th, 2015

Apa masalah bloggers, 'keyboard warriors' UMNO?

Ketika menangani kebangkitan gerakan reformasi ekoran pemecatan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dari parti dan kerajaan, kepemimpinan UMNO sudah merungut mengenai kurangnya bilangan blog dan laman web proparti dan prokerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN).

Menjelang pilihan raya umum 1999, perang siber jelas dimenangi pembangkang dari segi bilangan laman web, pengguna dan pengaruh. Dalam menghadapi perang siber Pilihan Raya Umum 2004, laman web pro-UMNO dan pro-BN hanya 13, berbanding 37 yang propembangkang.

Jumlahnya berubah sekarang tapi masih tidak seimbang. Kini, 16 tahun kemudian, Perdana Menteri dan Presiden UMNO masih merungut perkara sama.

Kenapa tidak ramai keyboard warriors dan cyber troopers dalam kalangan 3.7 juta ahli UMNO serta sekian ramai lagi penyokong dan aktivisnya?

Apakah bloggers dan pengguna media sosial UMNO kurang berpengaruh dan tidak mampu menangkis fitnah dan serangan pembangkang?

Ramai melihat Penerangan UMNO tidak mempunyai kepakaran atau strategi.

Pemuda UMNO yang menubuhkan unit IT sekitar 2003-2004 tidak konsisten, manakala janji Puteri UMNO menubuhkan 'tentera semut' untuk melawan pembangkang sekadar ikrar di perhimpunan agung.

Setiausaha Agung UMNO, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor akui 40 peratus ahli UMNO tidak menjiwai perjuangan parti.

Dalam pada itu, sekian ramai bloggers and pejuang kekunci yang dikenali pro-UMNO-BN tapi kini, tidak lagi.

Barangkali golongan inilah yang dipanggil 'bangang' oleh Datuk Seri Najib Razak ketika berucap di persidangan UMNO Mei lalu.

Ada juga tuduhan mereka terbabit dengan agenda menjatuhkan kerajaan dan mensabotaj negara, tapi menurut seorang Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO, puak menjatuhkan parti ialah kaki kipas dan pengadu domba, termasuk orang yang mengelilingi Perdana Menteri/Presiden UMNO.

Sepatutnya pertahan UMNO

Najib juga mahu bloggers dan pejuang kekunci UMNO melawan persepsi negatif terhadap parti dan kerajaan yang dicipta pembangkang.

Mencipta persepsi salah dan buruk terhadap UMNO, BN dan pemimpin kerajaan sememangnya kerja pembangkang.

Kerja blogger dan pejuang kekunci UMNO dan prokerajaan ialah memperbetulkan persepsi, mewujudkan keyakinan dan meningkat kepercayaan pembaca di medan siber.

Soalnya, bagaimana mereka mampu berbuat begitu jika tidak dapat maklumat yang cukup dan betul mengenai sesuatu isu yang panas dan sensitif?

Misalnya isu 1MDB, wang derma RM2.6 bilion dan persepsi negatif rakyat berikutan penahanan, penangkapan, pemindahan dan pemecatan pegawai-pegawai tinggi kerajaan baru-baru ini.

Dalam keadaan peristiwa berlaku dengan cepat, daripada manakah bloggers UMNO dan pejuang kekunci prokerajaan boleh mendapat maklumat sahih dan secepat kilat untuk memperbetulkan pelbagai dakwaan, fitnah dan maki hamun yang dilemparkan terhadap pemimpin parti dan kerajaan?

Rakyat disaran tolak fitnah yang tersebar di media sosial dan cari kebenaran. Di mana mereka harus cari dan dengan siapa boleh mereka sahkan maklumat, gambar atau berita panas yang diperoleh secara WhatsApp, SMS, e-mel atau Twitter: Adakah dengan Ketua Polis, Menteri Kewangan II atau Pengarah Komunikasi Strategik BN?

Kata Pengarah JASA, Datuk Fuad Zarkashi, Najib sudah jawab isu 1MDB 48 kali. Tapi sudah lebih setahun, isu ini belum reda. Adakah ini kerana rakyat tidak percaya dengan jawapan beliau?

Setiap kali jawab, ada soalan baharu yang timbul. Jika ada Menteri dan Ahli MT UMNO yang tidak tahu manakala pegawai kerajaan tidak berani bercakap, adakah bloggers dan pejuang kekunci perlu cipta jawapan sendiri?

Menteri yang dipertanggungjawab bercakap mengenai 1MDB lebih selesa diam, lalu diambil alih orang lain, termasuk Menteri Pelancongan dan Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia.

Lima belas soalan oleh seorang wakil Pemuda Johor di Internet dituju kepada Najib tapi dijawab Pengerusi Kelab Penyokong BN. Ada perbezaan kepada jawapan yang mereka beri.

Justeru, jawapan siapa yang boleh dipegang sebagai benar oleh bloggers UMNO untuk disebarluaskan? Minggu lalu, Pengerusi Amanah Yayasan 1Malaysia, Dr Chandra Muzaffar pula kemukakan 12 soalan - siapa nak jawab?

Bagaimanakah bloggers UMNO dan prokerajaan boleh meningkatkan kepercayaan dan keyakinan pembaca?

Integriti, kredibiliti dan pengaruh seseorang blogger bergantung kepada kesahihan maklumat, kekuatan hujah, gaya bahasa dan penulisan, serta kecepatan beliau memuat naik postingnya.

Ini yang menjadikan mereka berpengaruh dan ramai pengikut/pembaca. Tulisan mereka diminati pembaca kerana bernas, bebas, berani dan berprinsip.

Namun, dalam kalangan bloggers dan pejuang kekunci UMNO, ramai yang hilang kredibiliti dan pengaruh kerana tulisan tiada fakta, bersifat propaganda, banyak mengutuk dan menggunakan bahasa kasar atau lucah.

Yang malas hanya 'copy paste' tulisan orang lain di blogspot atau laman web yang mereka kendali. Ini tidak bermakna semua bloggers propembangkang ada integriti, bagus dan hebat.

Ramai yang merapu. Tapi itu masalah mereka. Ada bloggers pro-UMNO yang berasal daripada pembangkang, sangat aktif dan bertahun-tahun menghentam parti dan kerajaan.

Tapi, di bawah tajaan UMNO, mereka jadi malas dan tidak seaktif dulu. Ini mungkin kerana mereka sudah 'kekenyangan.'

Mustahil sekat media sosial

Mutakhir ini persoalan media sosial terus mencorak polemik dan senario politik di negara ini. Malaysia berdepan persoalan maklumat yang tidak terkawal di alam maya.

Cadangan yang agak ekstrem menangani media sosial termasuklah cadangan menyekat akses laman sosial. Agak mustahil untuk menyekat penggunaan media sosial kerana jumlah pengguna Facebook tempatan dilaporkan sudah mencecah 23 juta.

Ramai mengakui kehadiran dan kebaikan media sosial yang menjadi alat transformasi dalam semua aspek kehidupan kita. Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia memaklumkan bahawa pindaan Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998 dan Akta Suruhanjaya Komunikasi Multimedia 1998 akan dibentang di Dewan Rakyat, Oktober depan.

Pengguna media sosial sepatutnya bertanggungjawab terhadap segala yang ditulis oleh mereka. - Foto hiasan


Usaha meminda akta itu diambil sebagai langkah komprehensif kerajaan membabitkan pindaan pentadbiran dan penguatkuasaan bagi menangani penyalahgunaan dalam media sosial.

Pindaan undang-undang sedia ada itu juga mengambil kira beberapa peruntukan penting mengenai pentadbiran dan penguatkuasaan, malah kerajaan sudah mengadakan beberapa siri membabitkan kerjasama pihak berkepentingan.

Bukan isu baharu

Persoalannya, kenapa setiap kali wujud isu dan krisis membabitkan media sosial, baru memikirkan pindaan?

Pada hal, isu berkaitan media sosial sudah wujud sejak awal tahun 1990-an lagi.

Setiap kali pindaan yang ingin dibawa ke Parlimen memakan masa agak lama.

Sebenarnya, pelbagai undang-undang yang sudah sedia wujud di negara kita, mampu dan sudah boleh dikuatkuasakan. Sementara menanti pindaan itu, laksanakanlah mana-mana undang-undang yang sedia ada.

Persoalannya adalah daripada aspek penguatkuasaan. Jika diteliti, tindakan undang-undang boleh digunakan bagi mengawal selia segala yang berlaku dalam dunia siber.

Antaranya undang-undang dan akta media yang boleh dikuatkuasakan termasuk Facebook seperti Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998 (Akta 588), Akta Jenayah Komputer 1997 (Akta 563), Akta Hasutan 1948 (Akta 15), Akta Fitnah 1957 (Akta 286), serta Kanun Keseksaan (Akta 574). Sebagai contoh kes membabitkan penyalahgunaan internet termasuk Facebook ini dapat dikurangkan dengan penguatkuasaan berterusan undang-undang berkenaan. Kerajaan juga sudah melakukan pindaan terhadap Akta Keterangan 1950 (Akta 56) membabitkan prosedur perundangan bagi proses pembuktian jenayah internet termasuk Facebook. Malah, pindaan itu sudah diluluskan di Dewan Rakyat pada 18 April 2012 dan mula berkuat kuasa pada 31 Julai 2012.

Pindaan Akta 56 itu sudah dilakukan dengan penambahan Seksyen 114A yang bertajuk 'Andaian Fakta dalam Penerbitan.' Seksyen 114A juga boleh diguna pakai dalam kes jenayah dan sivil, mengandaikan bahawa pemilik, pengendali, hos, editor, pelanggan sesebuah rangkaian atau laman web.

Atau pemilik komputer mahupun peralatan mudah alih dianggap 'bertanggungjawab' menyiarkan atau mengulang siar kandungan yang ada di rangkaian laman web atau peralatan terbabit.

Jika kita merujuk kes penyebaran maklumat palsu dan tidak pasti yang berlegar dalam persoalan politik negara sekarang ini, jelas menunjukkan sesiapa yang menyebarkan maklumat yang tidak sahih dan berunsur fitnah boleh diambil tindakan.

Daftarkan pengguna media sosial

Media sosial khususnya Facebook tidak seharusnya ditutup. Media sosial memainkan peranan penting dalam industri antarabangsa, perniagaan, pendidikan, sektor korporat, swasta dan kerajaan.

Kita tidak seharusnya mengikut jejak negara yang menyekat penggunaan Facebook seperti Turki, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran, Mesir, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon dan Korea Utara.

Corak pentadbiran dan sistem Perlembagaan negara berkenaan jauh berbeza dengan Malaysia. Cadangan supaya pengguna Facebook, Twitter, Instagram dan media sosial yang lain mendaftar di bawah Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multi Media Malaysia adalah untuk mengenal pasti individu bertanggungjawab ke atas penyiaran dan penyebaran bahan berunsur hasutan di internet.

Memandangkan kes penyalahgunaan akaun laman sosial khususnya Facebook semakin berleluasa dan tidak terkawal, sudah sampai masanya kerajaan mengkaji cadangan mewajibkan setiap pengguna laman sosial didaftarkan.

Bagi sesetengah individu, cadangan itu mungkin sukar dilakukan berikutan jumlah penggunanya ramai. Namun, usaha yang sama juga berjaya kita lakukan pada tahun 2006 apabila mewajibkan pendaftaran pengguna telefon bimbit prabayar untuk membantu pihak berkuasa mengesan mereka yang menggunakan perkhidmatan itu untuk membuat panggilan atau khidmat pesanan ringkas berunsur fitnah atau palsu.

Didik pengguna adab guna laman sosial

Apa yang perlu ialah untuk terus mendidik pengguna mengenai adab menggunakan laman sosial. Pada masa sama, perlu lebih tegas dan mengambil tindakan sewajarnya berdasarkan akta sedia ada kepada mana-mana yang melanggar undang-undang.

Media sosial bukan lagi media yang bebas dan apa-apa yang ditulis mungkin mempunyai implikasi undang-undang. Dengan undang-undang, kesalahan terhadap fitnah, hasutan dan sebagainya diperluaskan kepada media sosial, kebebasan yang lazimnya dimiliki oleh pengguna internet menjadi terhad dan tertakluk kepada undang-undang.

Ini dikatakan akan membawa impak dan kesan kepada pengguna media sosial dan menjejaskan cara mereka berkelakuan di atas media sosial.

Sebenarnya, pengguna media sosial menjadi terlalu mudah untuk terjerumus ke dalam kategori liabiliti dari segi undang-undang sivil dan kesalahan jenayah.

Dulu, perkataan dan artikel ditulis tanpa perlu diperiksa sebelum diterbitkan di media sosial serta tanggungjawab terhadap apa yang ditulis di atas internet bukanlah satu isu.

Bagaimanapun, keadaan berubah pada masa kini. Sebagai contoh, untuk membuktikan kesalahan fitnah, seseorang itu perlu membuktikan bahawa wujud penerbitan kepada orang ramai mengenai perkataan yang berfitnah, dan sekarang, dengan sifat media sosial yang sangat mudah menerbit artikel, ia menjadi terlalu mudah untuk memenuhi elemen ini.

Apa yang membimbangkan pengguna internet ialah sekatan dan penguatkuasaan undang-undang ke atas media sosial akan menjadi ancaman kepada pengguna media sosial.

Namun, yang penting, pengguna diminta untuk bertanggungjawab terhadap segala yang ditulis oleh mereka dan segala yang ditulis mesti dibuktikan kebenarannya terlebih dulu.

The people who ‘run’ the world

In a world that runs on technology, programmers are high in demand.

WHAT is the first thing you did this morning? You probably looked at your phone and checked to see if you had any messages on WhatsApp. Then perhaps you scrolled through Facebook while sipping on your morning coffee.

These activities have become so ubiquitous that we might not even realise that behind the status updates and the message notifications, there are computers. And that behind these computers are the people who create software. These people are programmers.


Art of creating software: Teng taught himself to code and went on to found multiple tech-related companies

“In our world today, computers pretty much run everything. From managing our net worth, to our safety during daily commutes.

“If the computers of the world start to fail, every cent we have saved up can literally be wiped out and it will even halt our ability to call our loved ones,” said NEXT Academy founder Josh Teng, 27.

Debunking the stereotype

We often think of programmers as spectacle-wearing, fashion unsavvy and people-averse. When we imagine them, we see them hunched over computers typing green illegible characters on a black screen.

This is the wrong notion, said Teng.

“While black screens and green characters are somewhat true, programmers are the ones who shape the world as we know today,” he said.

“Programming is about creating. If you can programme, you can create. You can ingeniously solve annoying mundane problems that can easily be automated. You can create self-driving cars or create an empire by making games that involve a certain bird flying around avoiding obstacles.

“With where our world is headed, computers will be everywhere. Even your car already has computers,” he said, explaining that a car’s Anti-Brake Lock system (ABS) is actually powered by software that manages sensors fitted into the car.

“Computers are just dumb hardware put together. It is software that makes computers do what we want them to do,” he added.

“This act of creating software is called programming. Soon, you may no longer need to clean the house or wash the dishes because an intelligent robot will probably be pleased to serve you,” said Teng.


Hot skill: Students learn to build web applications within nine weeks at NEXT Academy.

The tool of the future

It has been said that the tech industry is “desperate to hire more computer programmers”. Serial entrepreneur and investor Hadi Partovi, in his talk at a TEDx event, said that this is not the case.

“Every industry is looking to hire more computer programmers.

“There is no greater opportunity than to change the world through technology. It affects every field,” he said.

He added that technology was not just about computers or smartphones or tablets. In fact, technology is now utilised in medicine, energy, space research and even entertainment.

In schools today, students learn about electrical circuits in Life Skills (Kemahiran Hidup). They learn about plants and how the human body works.

Partovi said that learning these things were important not because students would grow up to become biologists or electricians, but because they are supposed to “learn how the world around [them] works”. He argued that in a world driven by technology, children should be learning computer science.

“Computer science is not just about building technology. It’s about logic, problem solving and creativity,” he said in his talk.

“In this day and age, it’s not just vocational. Computer science is foundational for any job you want to have,” said Partovi.
















Not complicated: One of the ways that humans can communicate with computers and tell them what to do is by writing lines of code. It looks complicated but once you pick it up, it’s just like reading a book.

NEXT Academy’s Teng is of a similar mindset.

“Many jobs will require coding or programming abilities. I’ve seen so many people in non-IT roles benefitting from being able to code,” said Teng.

“I once met a shopkeeper who wrote a simple software that helped her to ensure that her doors were locked during her lunch hour!

“Almost all job roles can benefit from programming. The beauty is when non-tech experts understand enough programming and technology that new businesses or innovation can be created,” he said.

He added that we shouldn’t look at tech companies as “tech companies”.

“Most technologies are built to solve problems in other industries,” he said, citing GrabTaxi as an example.

Founded in Malaysia, the company has expanded regionally and went on to become a billion-dollar company in less than four years of operation.

“They are not a tech company per se but they used technology to solve a problem in the transportation industry,” said Teng.

“What about Facebook? Would you consider it a tech company? Or would you consider it a communications company?

“If we want to be effective as individuals, as communities, as countries, programming is the next hot skill to have regardless of one’s decision to become a lawyer, accountant or banker.

“Programming is the tool of the future,” said Teng.

Towards an integrated grading system

With the introduction of the integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA) pilot project, the nation can soon look forward to more holistic and readily employable graduates.

PICTURE this – university graduates who perform in their studies and outside the examination halls as well.

They have positive values and are able to communicate their thoughts and ideas, especially in English.

Not only that, they also have the right skills and know how to present themselves in a professional environment.


Flying high: Public university students can now look forward to honing their employability through the iCGPA,
which is under the blueprint’s first shift of producing holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates. –File photo

This is the vision of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) for the nation’s university graduates.

5 Great expectations: Public university students can now expect to be more employable in the near future. Pictured are Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, students Lee Joe Yee and Ho Jo Anne, both 19, checking out the booths set up during the blueprint’s launch in April. - File photo6 Opportunities to Shine: Through the university’s programmes, Taylor’s University students have the opportunity to meet, hear and learn from the stories and experiences of industry heads, such as Air Asia Bhd CEO Aireen Omar (left).7 Moving forward: Idris announced the five public universities will be involved in the iCGPA pilot project next month after =a Higher Education Ministry Hari Raya event earlier this week.
Moving forward: Idris (in blue) announced the five public universities will be involved in the iCGPA pilot project next month after a Higher Education Ministry Hari Raya event earlier this week.

And with the new integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA) system, this may soon become a reality for Malaysia.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) system being used now is not an accurate reflection of a graduate’s capabilities.

“The CGPA system only measures a students’ academic achievements.

“But, the iCGPA covers all aspects including leadership, social contribution, communication, critical thinking skills and other positive values,” he said.

First in the world

Idris said Malaysia was the first country in the world to adopt such a system.

But, he stressed that the ministry “didn’t dream this up overnight.”

In fact, the grading system was six years in the making.

Since 2009, the ministry had been studying the concept with ad­­­­vice on standards from the Ma­­lay­­­­sian Qua­­lifications Agency.

There was also collaboration with experts, including those from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara.

Also, the system was highlighted as one of the key initiatives in the blueprint’s first shift – producing holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates.

“We already have the instrument. Now, it is a matter of execution,” he said.

Next month, around 300 first-year students from five public universities will be involved in the iCGPA pilot project.

The varsities selected are UKM, UiTM, Univer­siti Malaysia Terengganu, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Universiti Malaysia Pahang.

Great expectations: Public university students can now expect to be more employable in the near future. Pictured are Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, students Lee Joe Yee and Ho Jo Anne, both 19, checking out the booths set up during the blueprints launch in April. - File photo
Great expectations: Public university students can now expect to be more employable in the near future. Pictured are Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, students Lee Joe Yee and Ho Jo Anne, both 19, checking out the booths set up during the blueprint’s launch in April. - File photo

Only one faculty will be chosen from each university for this year, which accounts for the small number of affected students – a mere 0.0075% of the 40,000-odd students who enrol in public universities every year.

“We are still in discussion with the universities and will look at how ready the faculties are to apply the system before making a decision,” Idris told reporters after a Higher Education Ministry Hari Raya event earlier this week.

Under the new system, students will graduate with a complete “report card”, detailing not just their subjects and performance, but the skills that they have picked up along the way.

A web of skills

These skills will be displayed in a “spider web” (see graphic).

Higher Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang said the iCGPA will be a good tool to measure students’ competencies.

“Besides the subjects taken and results achieved, the students’ final reports will also show whether a student is holistic.

“Through the spider web, we will be able to clearly see the areas which a student has excelled in,” he said.

In an earlier report, students said they were concerned that varsities would not be clear on how to grade students on their skill sets.

Dr Zaini clarified that students will be given grades based on the learning outcomes of the classes they take.

“This means that not every class will cover all the nine attributes in the iCGPA,” he said.

MQA chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa stressed that the iCGPA rubrics and criteria need to be made known to both the academics and students.

“This is to ensure that the evaluation is transparent, valid and reliable, so that it can be acceped by all parties,” he said.

Idris said this was why they were starting with only five faculties this year.

“The system needs to be implemented in all the faculties at every public university.

“But, we still need time for the students and lecturers to adjust to the system.”

He added that it will take three to four years to iron out the kinks before every public higher learning institution can start using the system.

Though the ministry is starting with public varsities, Idris said there would be no obstacle if private higher learning institutions wanted to use the iCGPA system.

All aboard

Generally, most private colleges and universities run programmes which develop their students’ soft skills.

In “Angling for jobs” (StarEducate, June 21), we found out that tertiary students are often encouraged to take part in co-curricular activities.

Also, higher learning institutions now have to bring the industry to the classroom to keep up with the ever-changing industries.

And, they also have to equip their students with the right knowledge and tools to succeed in whatever they do.

As such, the iCGPA is not a foreign concept altogether.

Good practices: Dr Parmjit said the new system was not unusual to private higher learning institutions but that it is definitely good practice to evaluate students beyond their academics.
Good practices: Dr Parmjit said the new system was not unusual to private higher learning institutions but that it is “definitely good practice to evaluate students beyond their academics”.

“There are already a few credits within the general curriculum related to community involvement,” said Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh.

INTI International University deputy vice-chancellor Dr Malini Eliatamby said she welcomed the move by the Higher Education Ministry, as this could improve our current education system.

“It is a really good move. Employers could use the measure of competencies attained in the process of hiring fresh graduates.

“We also like the way the students will be assessed both in the classroom and through on-campus activities,” she said.

Dr Parmjit said the new system will make more students aware that they have to be equipped with skills beyond academics.

However, he was quick to point out that “the guidelines just aren’t there yet”.

Bring it on: Dr Malini said they would consider using the iCGPA system and was confident that INTI will be able to incorporate it seamlessly.
Bring it on: Dr Malini said they would consider using the iCGPA system and was confident that INTI will be able to incorporate it seamlessly.

“We don’t know for sure how this will be rolled out or how the credits will be allocated. To some extent, it has already been done.

“While this is not unusual, it is definitely good practice to evaluate students beyond their academics,” he said.

On the possibility of using the iCGPA system, Dr Malini, who is also INTI Education Group vice-president, said they will consider it.

She was also confident that the institution “will be able to adapt this seamlessly”.

“We have already incorporated these soft skills and can see the difference in our graduates,” she added.

Shining with soft skills

Around the world, top universities offer employability skill certifications in the form of a “supplementary transcript”.

For example, the University of Reading offers the Reading Experience and Development Award, the University of Bath gives out the Bath Award, the University of Bristol has the Bristol PLUS Award and the University of Manchester hands out the Manchester Leadership Awards.

Taking a leaf out of their books, Taylor’s University awards the Second Transcript to its students, which can be achieved through its Shine Programme.

Excellent concept: Dr Pradeep said the iCGPA, an integrated “transcript” which focuses on skills and activities that help make students more employable “is, without question, fantastic”.

According to Taylor’s University deputy vice-chancellor Dr Pradeep Nair, the programme covers a range of life skills.

Within the programme, students can take up four learning packages – either personal development, people and leadership, professional development or global engagement.

“The programme took us two years to develop.

“In fact, we are still fine-tuning it based on feedback from our faculty, students and the industry,” he said.

But, he admitted that there were challenges in implementing the Second Transcript.

Not only did students and parents question the feasibility of the programme, employers also wondered how this would help them get better staff.

“This is why we had to educate parents and students, to show them that employers no longer consider a degree or the CGPAs as the main criteria when hiring staff,” said Dr Pradeep.

He added that the programme was endorsed and recognised by top employers and organisations like Shell, Ernst & Young, the Malaysian Bar and Microsoft.

“We involve them by making them mentors of our Shine Awards students and involving them in our workshops.”

Opportunities to Shine: Through the universitys programmes, Taylors University students have the opportunity to meet, hear and learn from the stories and experiences of industry heads, such as Air Asia Bhd CEO Aireen Omar (left).
Opportunities to Shine: Through the university’s programmes, Taylor’s University students have the opportunity to meet, hear and learn from the stories and experiences of industry heads, such as AirAsia Bhd CEO Aireen Omar (left).

Dr Pradeep said he was “glad Malaysian universities are beginning to adopt programmes that focus on more than just academic excellence.”

“The concept of an integrated ‘transcript’ that emphasises on soft skills and most importantly rewards students for participating in activities that help make them more employable is, without question, fantastic.”

Asked if he foresees any problems with the new iCGPA system, Dr Pradeep said it will depend on how well it is implemented at ground level.

“The challenge will be to balance students’ learning time between the academic and non-academic activities. This is particularly for the professional programmes which have highly prescribed programme structures and learning times.

“I see this as a journey which will take time,” he said.

Blueprint demands for teachers

The exercise to transform education will see the cikgu play a more critical role in and out of the classroom.

EDUCATION is the pillar of nation building. Without the implementation of a comprehensive education system a country would be regarded as having failed in carrying out its responsibilities to the people. In view of that, transformation in education needs to be implemented for Malaysians to be able to compete internationally.

To strengthen the education system, the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 was launched by former education minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The bluprint objective is to improve the education system. By doing so, we will be on par with other countries and excel academically at international level.

In order to transform the country’s education system, there is no denying that the role of teachers is of utmost importance.


Mentors and motivators : Teaching is not about imparting textbook knowledge alone as it requires a teacher to engage with students in other activities too. – File photo

This is because teachers are the ones who play an effective part in educating the young.

Hence, the teacher’s role becomes more complex and challenging in realising the blueprint goals.

Commitment and effort to improve the quality of education now become the main responsibility of teachers, in order to produce quality students for the nation’s future. Let me reiterate that teachers, play a significant role.

Global standards

Teachers need to have an understanding of what transpires through education transformation.

This involves having a clear vision on what needs to be changed towards quality education. It also involves grooming the students to excel not only at national level but at international level too.

Teachers need to equip themselves with holistic pedagogical skills, explore the use of various learning models that utilise technology to inculcate higher-order thinking skills, and enhance students’ learning.

To achieve this, teachers need to challenge themselves to think creatively and critically.

They need innovative ideas which can be transferred to the students when they teach them in the classrooms.

The Education Ministry is making every effort in providing training to help teachers master these skills, in line with the blueprint objectives.

Teachers must be truly committed to mastering Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Za’aba the famous Malay thinker, writer and language expert, had said that “knowledge is the most important foundation that saves people from the shackles of backwardness”.

Education and appreciation of knowledge should always be strengthened so that teachers remain relevant.

Teachers need the courage to explore different models of teaching and learning to diversify the methods and techniques of effective teaching.

According to the Seventh Shift in the blueprint, utilising ICT to improve the quality of teaching in schools must be accepted with a positive mindset by the teachers.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) requires all teachers in the classroom to be facilitating and inspiring students to learn in a creative way.

In addition, teachers also need to be able to develop effective learning experiences in this digital era.

They need to equip themselves with the technical know-how of using ICT effectively in their classes.

This also indicates that teachers need to update themselves constantly in their teaching career.

To help the teachers, the ministry has set up a digital library for teaching through its e-Guruvideo.

I am of the view that teachers need to be role models in portraying values and unity among students.

Holistic development

This has been mentioned in the Third Shift of the blueprint which looks at developing “values-driven Malaysians”.

This shift aims to develop students holistically as today’s generation will face a world of great challenges.

Environmental degradation, the impact of globalisation as well as development conflict are but some of the challenges.

We are all aware that the inculcation of spiritual values is one of the virtues of education.

While people have a passion for worldly advancement, the aspect of spirituality must not be forgotten.

With strong spirituality comes the values of unity and harmony.

The school plays an important role in instilling the value of spirituality which implies that teachers need to be the role model for their students to emulate.

The blueprint is to transform the education system in our country towards achieving Vision 2020.

Concerted efforts are being carried out from 2013 to 2025 to achieve the vision. Although the ministry is tasked with implementing the blueprint, parents and the community have a part to play too.