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KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education) or also known as MEB (HE) is expected to enhance and improve the role of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in imparting Islamic knowledge and values.

Rector Professor Datuk Seri Dr Zaleha Kamaruddin said the emergence of the blueprint would further strengthen the university’s effort.”When the blueprint was launched, all higher educational institutions were given the responsibility to translate its vision to suit the landscape of their own institutions.

“For IIUM, the first shift that is to develop holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates is translated into our teaching and learning curriculum as we give due attention to the integration of revealed knowledge and the capacity of the ‘akal’ or mental capacity,” she said, adding that IIUM has practised a learning culture that centred around Islamic values and practices for the past 30 years.

“We close the library between 1pm and 2pm to encourage our students to pray. We also disallow lecturers from having extra classes or extending their classes during that time so that those in the university will perform prayers and remember that even though we are a learning institute, our duty to God must not be forgotten,” she said.

According to Zaleha, realising the MEB (HE) required learning institutions to be dynamic to ensure quality graduates are produced. “The need to be dynamic stems from industrial demands. Graduates must be ready to serve with skill and knowledge.

“We must take note that the term ‘holistic graduates’ in this century may not be the same as it would have meant for graduates 20 years ago, that is why institutions must find strategies in developing their graduates dynamically, with guidance from the blueprint,” she said, adding that to give birth to holistic graduates first and foremost required holistic instructors.

The blueprint, Zaleha opined, was also in line with Vision 2020, where it would greatly contribute to human capital development in achieving the national aspiration. “MEB (HE) aims to produce Malaysians who are more knowledgeable, skilful, holistic, balanced and competent in ensuring the growth of the national economy in the coming years.

“The development the country is aiming for covers all aspects, not just education but also economy, politics, social, spiritual and cultural, so the blueprint will indirectly contribute to all these fields with the birth of quality human capital,” she said. Zaleha said it was imperative for higher educational institutions to support and implement the new blueprint as it would benefit all parties.

“Also, in terms of creating entrepreneurial graduates, institutions can create or improve their Entrepreneur Learning Centre and strengthen their relationship with industrial players so that graduates would be ready for the working world upon graduation. ”

All efforts based on this blueprint will translate into a better Malaysia. Our role as the heads of learning institutions is to plan strategically and prioritise accordingly,” she said.-NST



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