Khamis, Jun 02, 2011

Deputy HEM : Students weak in two soft skills

KUALA LUMPUR: University students’ communication skills, especially in the English language, are not up to par and can be further improved based on the Malaysian soft skills scale (My3S).
Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the My3S, which was introduced last year, gauged the soft skill proficiency of 10,828 final year and 39,465 first year university students.
“The scale’s findings pointed to two weak spots among university students – communication and critical thinking.
“The ministry would like universities to engage students both inside and outside the classroom to improve the situation,” he told reporters after officiating at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Third Medical Undergraduate Annual Scientific Meeting.
He said the scale monitored students’ proficiency in seven areas covering communication, critical thinking and problem-solving, morals and ethics, knowledge management and lifelong learning, teamwork, leadership and entrepreneurship.
He added that the students should also be encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities such as public speaking, especially in the English language.
Saifuddin said students need to learn how to argue their point critically and clearly in the English language.
A total of 57 groups from various departments within UKM’s medical faculty took part in the event to showcase their work.
Asked whether there would be an undergraduate representative within the Youth Parliament as proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last week, Saifuddin agreed that there should be one.
Last Sunday, Najib said the Government wants to further connect with youths by introducing six initiatives including the setting up a Youth Parliament and a 12ha extreme sports park in Bukit Jalil.