PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said the four main objectives in developing higher education, among other things, were to create a centre to generate knowledge and manpower that can carry and fulfill the country’s vision.
The Prime Minister said that the generation or a treasury of the highest level of learning must take root in this country and subsequently expanded.
“We also want manpower that can implement and fulfill all the country’s visions, transformations and aspirations in facing the 21st century as well as the fierce competition currently.
“This requires us to generate and create manpower with the capability and qualification to face the global competition,” he said at the eighth edition of the National Academic Award (AAN) ceremony at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), here today.
Also present at the event were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Education Minister, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and deputy education ministers Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching and P.Kamalanathan.
According to the Prime Minister, the third objective was to create a future generation that was truly educated and not merely possessing the academic qualification.
“We want a future generation that is educated, not just an academic person but a truly educated person, that is our task when we refer to the future legacy and interests of our grandchildren,” he said.
The fourth objective, Najib said, was the role of the academia which was just as important in helping the country to generate wealth through cooperation and industry.
“I emphasise that the academia also has a role for example in the process of national innovation because we want to encourage wealth generation through innovation, so we must inculcate cooperation between the academia and the industry,” he said.
He added that with the generation of wealth, the country would be able to set up more universities and institutions of higher learning and subsequently elevate further the role of the education sector.
At the function, Najib also presented the National Academic Figure award to Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Mohd Rashdan Baba.
Dr Mohd Rashdan was the first Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) for three years beginning in 1969 before becoming the first Vice-Chancellor of Universti Pertanian Malaysia (now Universiti Putra Malaysia) from 1971 to 1982.
The AAN was introduced in 2006 and 41 members of the academia have received this recognition. – BERNAMA