24 August 2016

UWN: Can private education contribute to nation building?

Is it possible for private universities to contribute to a unified nation, bringing together those from different backgrounds? Or will institutions always emerge to match the privilege and positioning of wealthy groups? 

In much of Europe, universities have historically had close ties to the state and higher education has been important for developing citizens and collective identity. Yet Malaysia’s international branch campuses operate apart from the state, providing manpower solely for the business sector. 


Science & Diplomacy: Academic Freedom in a Globalized World

Lisa Anderson - 08.17.2016
The implications of the securitization of research, both in the sources and purposes of research funding and in who is permitted to conduct research, when, and where, should be taken up more vigorously by professional associations and academies. These implications are no less dazzling, tempting, and terrifying than those of the commercialization of scientific research in the era of Bayh-Dole,7 and they will only grow as terrorism drives government policies around the world. 
So in sum, my advice to the international community of research scholars and scientists:
1.     Don’t shun your colleagues. This plays into the hands of those who want to suppress research collaboration and does nothing to provide concrete support to fellow scholars and scientists.
2.     Don’t abandon your research goals. Be pragmatic, flexible, and attentive to the implications of your work for those who may carry it out and who may rely on it, but don’t succumb to intimidation—bullying only works as long as it works.
3.     Continue to name and shame, and take up individual cases. You will always feel terrible knowing both that there are hundreds more scholars and scientists caught invisibly between the permitted and the prohibited and that no individual is a saint, but a little courage, assistance, and comfort on your part is better than none.
4.     Finally, advocate and explain. You know what academic freedom is, mostly because you have been its beneficiary, and you should advocate the virtue and value of education and research proudly, confidently, and energetically, and be absolutely uncompromising in demanding the rights and responsibilities that sustain it, including freedom of information, expression, and association. You can tell the world what is lost by discouraging research: the capacity to cultivate and advance new ideas that will enhance the prospects for economic prosperity, human security, social justice, and dignity everywhere.


20 August 2016

What Happens When Millions of Jobs Are Lost Because of Automation?

Education for fifth job, not just first

Another key reform to make higher education relevant for the 21st Century workforce is to ensure that colleges and universities are not just training students, but educating them. Many colleges are chasing the latest and hottest career fields by creating new majors and programs narrowly tailored to get students a job right out of college. But in doing so, they are often paring back the liberal arts that supply students with the problem-solving abilities and communication skills critical to the workforce of the future.
Instead, our entire education system from primary school through college seems so focused on teaching skills that will be automated in the future. The jobs that are growing the most are those that require high social skills as well as analytical skills.

Kaji semula skim perkhidmatan pensyarah dan guru

Saya merujuk kepada berita dan Bisik-Bisik Awang Selamat (Utusan 13 Julai 2016) mengenai ucapan timbalan perdana menteri, Dato Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi semasa merasmikan sambutan Perayaan Hari Guru Peringkat Daerah Hilir Perak 2016 baru-baru ini di Bagan Datoh.

Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK) menyambut baik sarana Dato Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi supaya skim perkhidmatan para pendidik diletakkan pada paras lebih tinggi dari apa yang ada sekarang. GERAK amat setuju kedudukan para pendidik dikembalikan ke kedudukan lebih tinggi dan terhormat di pasada masyarakat seperti dahulu.

Semua pendidik yang terdiri dari guru di peringkat sekolah hingga pensyarah di peringkat universiti, memain peranan membentukkan para pemimpin dan profesional untuk masa akan datang. Para pendidik memang layak diberi imbuhan yang lebih tinggi dari apa yang mereka dapat sekarang.

GERAK mengesa semua skim perkhidmatan para pendidik (DG, DS, DH, DM, DU, DUG, DUF) ditambahbaikkan agar kita dapat mereka yang terbaik untuk menjadi guru dan pensyarah. Guru dan pensyarah terbaik nescaya akan menghasilkan pelajar dan graduan yang terbaik untuk negara.

Rosli H Mahat
Setiausaha Agung
Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)
16 Julai 2016