PENANG, 6 February 2013 - Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE) has chosen Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to pioneer the process of rating the impact and output involving community programmes that have been implemented.
Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Omar Osman said that the university has been asked to carry out a process to measure the impact and see the effects on the development of society, especially in the form of community service activities, industrial relations, volunteerism and others.
He said that the rating process is expected to begin by the end of next February and it will be made through a framework that has been agreed upon by the ministry and the university.
“Subsequently we will try to strengthen the framework so that it can be expanded and used as a guide to measure how effective the programmes involving the community and the people can be implemented optimally.
“It also gave USM a clearer view to produce satisfaction, not only to students, lecturers and public, but also have an impact on factors such as health, education, economics, and hygiene,'' he said.
He said this in a press conference after the Community Engagement Certificate Awarding Ceremony: Budi Dituai Bakti Dikenang here today. Also present was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Industry and Community Network Prof. Dato’ See Ching Mey.
Omar added that the university had conducted various programmes involving communities, including clean water supply project to orang asli communities, therapy methods that stabilises the condition of spastic children, and braille methodology.
Besides, he said the university also established a kindergarten that accepts autistic children with those who are normal, adoption programme among orang asli, and providing free tuition.
“All these efforts are in line with the ministry’s aim to focus on marginalised groups to participate and enjoy the knowledge and expertise of the ivory tower.
“It also coincided with the USM’s mission of empowering marginalised communities and add value to the field of knowledge for the future development of the country,'' he elaborated.
In the meantime, a total of 413 recipients among the university community have been recognised for their contributions in various community engagement programmes and out of the total, 35 received certificates of excellence while the rest received certificates of appreciation.
Since 2008 to 2012, a total of 214 projects involving fundings of RM 4.2 million have been implemented successfully, providing knowledge to those who are without knowledge, empowering them with skills and giving them hope for a better tomorrow.
USM has also introduced an additional grant of RM272,000 in 2012 to 44 ad-hoc, one-off type of projects of which were spent prudently in realising the noble intention of empowering the community. - Text: Marziana Mohamed Alias/Photo: Mohd. Fairus Md. Isa/Translation: Tan Ewe Hoe