October 18th, 2016

Kolej kediaman bukan sekadar tempat tidur

MELETAKKAN iltizam melahirkan graduan holistik, berciri keusahawanan dan seimbang sebagai lonjakan pertama dalam Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia Pengajian Tinggi (PPPM-PT) menzahirkan pentingnya peranan mahasiswa untuk masa depan negara.

Bagi merealisasikan lonjakan ini, semua pihak perlu berperanan secara kolektif dan melakukan penambahbaikan berterusan supaya usaha ini tidak terhenti di pertengahan jalan.

Menyedari hakikat ini, selain fakulti yang lazimnya berperanan sepanjang pengajian mahasiswa di universiti, watak kolej kediaman jangan sesekali dikesampingkan.

Melihat kolej kediaman hanya sebagai tempat tidur, mandi atau menukar pakaian adalah sangat keterlaluan. Kolej kediaman sebagai pusat pembelajaran kedua adalah pelengkap kepada fakulti.

Seawal menjejaki tangga menara gading, mahasiswa menjadi warga kolej kediaman pada dua semester pertama dan ada juga universiti menetapkan pada sepanjang tempoh pengajian.

Ini menjadikannya umpama rumah kedua pelajar. Terkini, apabila sindrom 4K (Kuliah, Kafeteria, Katil dan Komputer) dibincang pada segenap peringkat, kolej kediaman mesti melakukan transformasi agar laungan semangat 'Soaring Upwards' (peningkatan berterusan) dicetuskan Menteri Pendidikan Tinggi, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, terus direalisasi.

Perkukuh fungsi

Sebagai pusat pembelajaran kedua, kolej kediaman perlu mengukuhkan fungsinya menerusi tiga peranan utama berikut: Kolej kediaman perlu berperanan sebagai pemangkin kecemerlangan pelajar bagi pasaran kerjaya.

Tugas melatih bakal graduan universiti awam (UA) agar boleh berdiri sama tinggi dan duduk sama rendah setanding dengan dengan graduan lulusan luar negara memerlukan kerjasama semua pihak.

Jika program CEO@Faculty, iaitu usaha positif Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi (KPT) dalam memberi pendedahan dunia sebenar pekerjaan melalui sudut pandangan CEO/tokoh industri, kolej kediaman juga mesti melakukan sesuatu.

Selain bengkel kemahiran dan persediaan kerjaya pada peringkat universiti oleh Jabatan Kerjaya, kolej kediaman boleh memainkan peranan berfokus kepada tiga elemen, iaitu kemahiran kepemimpinan, kerja berpasukan dan kebolehan menyesuaikan diri. Semua ini diperlukan oleh bakal majikan.

Tiga elemen ini tidak akan tajam jika hanya menunggu pada saat akhir, iaitu tahun akhir pengajian, sebaliknya perlu diasah seawal tahun pertama.

Hari ini, majikan mempunyai jangkaan lebih tinggi iaitu mahukan bakal pekerja yang bukan sahaja cemerlang akademiknya, tetapi juga mereka yang boleh menjadi ketua, berintegriti tinggi, hebat berkomunikasi, ada elemen humor dan boleh menjadi ahli pasukan yang baik. Kolej kediaman perlu merealisasikan cabaran melahirkan graduan seimbang ilmu dan akhlak.

Selain elemen kemahiran insaniah (KI) yang digariskan, PPPM (PT) juga menjelaskan keberhasilan diinginkan semua pihak, merangkumi etika dan kerohanian, kemahiran memimpin, identiti nasional, kemahiran bahasa, kemahiran berfikir dan pengetahuan.

Aspirasi melahirkan graduan seimbang antara akhlak dan ilmu, sangat mencabar. Bagi menyahut cabaran sebagai pusat pembelajaran kedua, Kolej Kediaman Perwira Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), merintis jalan menerusi Pelan Transformasi Mahasiswa Holistik, bermula September 2013 dengan menampilkan tiga polisi iaitu 1Penghuni Muslim 1Al-Quran, 1Penghuni 1Sukan dan 1Penghuni 1Kemahiran.

Pembentukan sahsiah

Al-Quran, sukan dan kemahiran diletakkan sebagai kerangka pembentukan diri mahasiswa. Mendekatkan diri dengan al-Quran, masjid dan aktiviti kerohanian membantu mereka menangani kejutan budaya dan meningkatkan kematangan.

Isu rasuah yang hangat mutakhir ini juga adalah duri dalam daging kesan kegagalan mengangkat paradigma tauhid. Ini menjadi isyarat agar semua mahasiswa mesti dididik menjunjung tinggi integriti setiap masa.

Sukan membentuk mahasiswa seimbang jasmani, emosi, rohani dan intelek. Kemahiran pula adalah faktor 'wow' yang mesti dimiliki untuk menyaingi cabaran globalisasi yang begitu menekan.

Kolej kediaman perlu berperanan merapatkan jurang polarisasi kaum. Hidup sebagai rakyat Malaysia dengan pelbagai agama dan kaum memerlukan pengetahuan, kefahaman dan toleransi tinggi.

Walaupun jurang polarisasi kaum semakin surut, ia perlu sentiasa dicanai kesepakatannya. Anasir negatif perkauman seperti suka memandang rendah peranan dan sumbangan bangsa dan agama lain, perlu dibuang jauh.

Menyelami falsafah kolej kediaman sebagai pusat pembelajaran kedua, pelbagai aktiviti bagi meraikan kepelbagaian perlu digiatkan. Bengkel Silang Budaya yang menceritakan falsafah khusus berkaitan sesuatu agama, bangsa dan tradisi perlu dilaksanakan secara terpimpin merentasi pelbagai bangsa agar kita lebih faham dan terdidik.

Salah faham banyak didorong oleh anggapan dan bukanlah didasari ilmu.

Rumusannya, lonjakan pertama PPPM (PT) seiring bersama aspirasi pelajar yang dihasratkan iaitu seimbang ilmu dan akhlak adalah sasaran jelas KPT bagi menyediakan generasi Malaysia yang bukan sahaja hebat mindanya, kuat fizikalnya malah luhur pekertinya.

Peranan kolej kediaman mestilah dihargai dan diperkasakan agar kekal relevan dan dihormati, seiring dengan keperluan semasa selain menjadi pemangkin kepada kecemerlangan mahasiswa.

Pastinya, hasil tarbiah kolej kediaman sebagai pusat pembelajaran kedua akan memberi impak maksimum dalam membangunkan pemimpin negara, demi Malaysia yang kita cintai.

Berfikir aras tinggi kunci kejayaan

HUJJATUL Islam Imam Ghazali dalam kitabnya Ihya Ulumuddin mendefinisikan akal sebagai sumber ilmu, tempat timbul dan sendi ilmu. Ilmu itu berlaku daripada akal seperti buah daripada pohon kayu, sinar daripada matahari dan penglihatan dari mata.

Akal ialah satu senjata atau kekuatan pemberian Allah SWT yang amat berharga kepada setiap insan. Antara seluruh makhluk ciptaan Allah SWT, manusialah golongan yang paling sempurna, terindah, terbaik, dan terhormat sekalipun manusia bukan makhluk terbesar atau tertinggi.

Hal ini diterangkan oleh Allah SWT dalam firman-Nya yang bermaksud: "Sesungguhnya Kami telah menjadikan manusia dalam bentuk sebaik-baiknya (dan berkelengkapan sesuai dengan keadaan." (Surah at-Tin, ayat 4)

Menerusi perbincangan bertajuk 'Fikir Aras Tinggi' dalam rancangan Pesona D'Zahra di IKIMfm, Ustaz Muhammad Abdullah al-Amin menggariskan tiga tahap cara manusia berfikir.

Pertama, manusia yang berfikiran rendah biasanya sering berkeluh-kesah mengenai kekurangan dan permasalahan sedang ia hadapi.

Selain itu, individu memiliki tahap cara berfikir seperti ini dilihat sebagai seorang yang suka mencari alasan dan memberi komen negatif pada sesuatu perkara.

Individu yang memiliki tahap berfikir seperti ini kebiasaannya mengungkapkan perkataan seperti 'kalau', 'tidak boleh' atau 'mana boleh'.

Dalam erti kata lain, mereka tidak mahu berfikir lebih daripada itu dengan alasan tidak mahu penat berfikir. Biarlah orang lain fikirkan.

Oleh itu, bertindaklah untuk menghentikan perbuatan itu disebabkan mengeluh tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah sebaliknya hanya akan membuang waktu dan tenaga.

Seperti dinyatakan oleh pengarang buku Secrets of Millionaire, T Harv Eker menjelaskan mengeluh hanya akan menambah masalah anda.

Mereka yang berfikir secara sederhana pula disifatkan sebagai kurang mengeluh terhadap sesuatu perkara sebaliknya, mereka gemar membicarakan mengenai sesuatu peristiwa dan kejadian.

Latih minda berfikir aras tinggi

Apabila berhadapan dengan satu peristiwa, mereka hanya mengemukakan pandangan tanpa mencari jalan penyelesaian serta kurang peduli mengambil iktibar daripada peristiwa itu.

Sesungguhnya, permulaan kejayaan ialah apabila kita berfikir mengenai kejayaan. Permulaan untuk berubah ialah berubahnya cara berfikir.

Dengan itu, tidak hairanlah individu yang menjana dan melatih minda ke arah berfikir aras tinggi dianggap sebagai individu mempunyai wawasan tinggi untuk melakar kejayaan.

Ini terbukti apabila mereka mempunyai sifat kepekaan dan kesungguhan dalam melaksanakan tanggungjawab diamanahkan.

Individu memiliki tahap pemikiran aras tinggi sentiasa meletakkan kepercayaan bahawa pemimpin adalah seorang yang memegang amanah.

Maka, apa yang terletak di bawah perlindungannya perlu dibangunkan dan dijaga kepentingan serta kemaslahatan secara adil mengikut tuntutan agama.

Daripada Ibnu Umar, Nabi SAW bersabda: 'Ketahuilah, setiap daripada kamu adalah pemimpin, dan setiap daripada kamu akan diminta pertanggungjawaban terhadap apa yang dipimpin.' (Riwayat Bukhari)

Antara ciri individu yang mempunyai tahap pemikiran sebegini, sentiasa melakukan perancangan teliti.

Amat jarang kita jumpa orang yang berjaya, tiba-tiba sahaja dia berjaya tanpa perancangan.

Rahsia kecil kebanyakan yang berjaya ialah mereka melakukan perubahan kecil ke arah matlamat dan perancangan setiap hari.

Dalam institusi keluarga, disarankan ibu bapa mempelajari dan menyuburkan kaedah mendidik anak supaya berfikir aras tinggi.

Dalam menangani cabaran mendidik anak generasi berilmu, tidak dapat dinafikan ilmu pengetahuan memainkan peranan besar.

Secara umumnya, segala yang dilihat dan didengar oleh kanak-kanak daripada persekitarannya adalah pendidikan baginya kerana kanak-kanak pada awal umur tidak dapat membezakan yang baik dan buruk.

Didik anak bersyukur

Oleh itu, menjadi peranan ibu bapa memberi tunjuk ajar dan bimbingan kepada anak supaya tidak terpengaruh anasir yang tidak sepatutnya oleh rakan sebaya.

Di samping itu, bagi melahirkan anak berfikir aras tinggi, dinasihatkan mendidik mereka sentiasa mensyukuri nikmat dianugerahkan Allah SWT.

Sebagai khalifah di muka bumi ini, cubalah membentuk diri menjadi manusia yang berfikir aras tinggi. Kita adalah apa yang kita fikirkan mengenai diri kita.

Bak kata pujangga, "Orang yang berminda kecil membicarakan mengenai orang lain; orang yang berminda sederhana membicarakan mengenai peristiwa dan kejadian; dan orang yang berminda besar membicarakan mengenai idea dan keilmuan."

How to prevent students from playing hooky after exams?

WHAT is a school? It is a safe and conducive place to provide learning opportunities for students with the help of teachers and others. It nurtures values, and students grow and develop to be responsible people.

But if school is so complete, why do students skip school? Students skip school for many reasons including boredom, activities that don’t excite them and rigid school rules.

With the Form Three Assessment (PT3) over and other final examinations being conducted, schools, parents and the Education Ministry understand the psychological effects that students are undergoing.

Most important is the person called teacher. Teachers who are conventional in their thoughts would think that their role to educate students is complete.

They would think that as long as they have finished the syllabus and submitted grades online, their work is done for the year.
Society can help teachers make school interesting and meaningful for students.


So what happens in schools after major examinations? Does it mean that teaching is no longer necessary as exams are over?

If there are lessons, students become bored.

They will visit cybercafes, shopping complexes and take part in more exciting activities.

Many schools plan after-examination activities, such as inter-class games, excursions and gotong-royong.

But do these activities attract all students? There is a need to research the interests of students, especially high-risk students.

After exam time is the best space for teachers and counsellors in secondary schools to reach out to students, have talks and help them make decisions for their growth.

Parents can be a part of these communal activities and non-governmental organisations can organise enjoyable activities.

Teachers, without the support of the community, would find it challenging to keep students interested in school, especially if they do not apply the National Education Philosophy to their teaching vision.

I wonder how society can help teachers make school interesting and meaningful for students?

When students skip school, many point their fingers at teachers, principals or schools and conclude that it’s not a good school.

How can that perception be changed so that students look forward to school every day? 

Schools are not examination factories

IN our society, the worrying trend among young people is the pressure to score As in their examinations. Teachers, headmasters and parents are equally to blame.

Schools tend to place a high value on school results. Famous Scottish politician Johann Lamont once said: “Schools are not exam factories for the rat race.”

I couldn’t agree more. There are myriad programmes to achieve the target and fulfil the Key Performance Indicators of the schools.

The planned programmes are so intense and packed. Teachers have to toil hard to deliver exam tips and inputs.

The pertinent question is, if the student scores As in the exam, does that mean he is a genius?

Life is so competitive. Some parents like to compare their children’s school results with others. What are they trying to prove? Doesn’t every child possess a unique trait and character?

I have seen teenagers struggling to study and confining themselves to the room just to please their parents’ dream of seeing them scoring As .

These teenage students do not know anything else about the world apart from the facts and figures in the textbooks.

When it comes to language learning, many think memorising facts in the textbook is sufficient for the exam.

When I had a conversation with the students, they barely spoke grammatically correct sentences and their vocabulary is very limited.

A teacher of language learning, be it Bahasa Malaysia or English, has to read extensively. Language has to be acquired, but not by memorising.

I asked famous writer Uthaya Sankar S.B. the secret of his ability to write in Bahasa Malaysia and English.

He eloquently told me that his passion for reading is the ultimate secret for his successful career and he managed to carve a name in the writing industry.

I admire his ability to speak and write in BM.

In the nutshell, reading is a habit and students should practise it as part of life.

Some of my former students shared with me the predicaments and ordeals that they went through to achieve good results.

Now, they are in medical schools abroad.

But, they have lost the fun of childhood at the expense of studies. They are full of regret.

Some parents engage home tutors to coach their children.

Of course, this will cost money but as long as their children score high marks, it is fine for them. Isn’t childhood supposed to be balanced?

Don’t you think children need to connect with nature? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Just imagine sitting and reading most of the time without going out.

Agitation, anger and irritation may creep in and this will affect the health.

Looking back on my childhood, I realised that my friends and I were well connected to nature. No rules had to be followed.

We watched television, listened to songs, plucked fruits, rode bicycles and went jungle trekking.

Life was so much freer. I don’t recall my parents being stressed out by my results. Neither were they ashamed of our results.

But, now, the paper chase and unrealistic expectations loom over every student’s life. This is a new ball game altogether.

And, this trend is frightening, too. Parents should realise that some children are late bloomers.

They may shine in their unhurried and self-nurtured ways. Comparing and forcing children to focus solely on their studies may rob them of their childhood.

Don’t turn the “academic heat” on them. We have slowly created a robotic life for a child to follow, to comply with a strict timetable even before he starts seeing the real world.

Are we being fair to them? Aren’t real success and achievements shaped by pure love, affection and freedom? Sumati Muniandy, NST Opinion You Write 18 OCTOBER 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Learning needs environment change

THIS is in response to the letter “Make it natural for students to learn the language” (NST, Oct 9).

When I was young, I always questioned my father on why I needed to go to school when nobody teaches the sun to rise every morning.

Nobody teaches the tree to grow but it still grows and its fruit feeds the hungry all over the world. Who teaches them to do things when they do not go to school?

My father’s response to these questions was that our environment and surroundings are the best teachers in the world.

Language is not something that teachers teach and students learn, but it is a natural development at every age.

As long as English is a second language, it is an option for people to learn the language and effectively use it.

It does not mean a student who “learns” the language will be able to “use” the language efficiently.

An experiment was done in which a baby was left with a herd of goats, with a nanny goat as its surrogate mother.

Throughout the child’s growth, researchers realised that the boy was bleating and communicating with the goats.

That is how language is picked up. This is how “natural” language is picked up.

There is no way to “make” the process natural.

The mere fact that you are “making” something makes it unnatural altogether.

The environment has to change for language proficiency to change in Malaysia. The first environmental change that needs to take place is that English is not a second language in Malaysia.

English should be the medium or language of communication with Bahasa Malaysia being our mother tongue.

Then, we can have Mandarin, Tamil and other languages as second languages or cultural languages. This makes it a natural process for everyone to use these languages at home.

As long as English is a second language, it is an option for people to learn the language and effectively use it.

The natural process of using English effectively is also deterred because learning it would be a choice. A natural learning curve starts with the question “why”.

Children start early by irritating parents with the question “Why do I have to school?” They are looking for reasoning. How many students know the reason for learning the language?

By students not knowing this, the natural learning process is disturbed. Why should I do something when I do not know what I am doing? Language comes with culture, history, fun and change.

And, this can be achieved through a language and literature integrated curriculum. This is because the literature component answers the why and the language part gets all technical aspects of the language sorted.

When they are exposed with this balance, naturally proficiency of English will increase because they know why they are doing something. Not everyone can be teachers and not everyone can teach.

It is not the training institutes that need to be checked. It is the fact that in Malaysia, everyone can be teachers. We have engineers, bio- technicians, doctors, etc, becoming teachers.

It doesn’t mean that just because you speak English, you can teach the language. Why is it that English teachers cannot become engineers or doctors?

The pride of the teaching profession has decreased because people are not doing things that come naturally to them.

So, when you have an English language teacher who was a trained physician, how is the natural process of learning going to happen for students?

When the deterioration of language happens, it comes with the deterioration of culture, moral, ethics and character because these are the elements that come with a language.

It was never a standalone subject to be learnt. Other unnatural elements need to change to regain normality. Improve language and everything culturally, morally, ethically will naturally be changed.

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein