Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Wave University

1. Some years ago in 1996 the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak published an interesting book entitles, "The New Wave University - A Prelude to Malaysia 2020" and it was co-edited by Profs. Ghazally Ismail and Murtedza Mohamed. It was a very interesting book to read in paralley with the "The Renaissance Man", book published by the University of Malaysia, edited by Profs Dato' Hashim Yaacob et al.

2. Both discussed what the new waves university is all about. The first discussed about the paradigm shift universities in Malaysia should have taken to be more relevant and the second discussed about what Royal Prof. Ungku Aziz did at the oldest university as an example how to run a university.

3. In the Foreward of the New Wave University, written by our present PM he lamented two very crucial improvements which are necessary in our education system : first, to ensure that the people are technologically literate and develop a high level of thinking skills by using new approaches to develop and implement the curriculum; and the second, to humanise the learning environment by using natural learning processes that involve social, active and collaborative approaches.

4. With the availability of ICT and PC I think Malaysian are in good position to be technologically literate, but to think in a skillful manner to innovate and transformation our curriculum is a bit challenging for some. Many love to be on a status quo position, why don't rock the boat when we are comfortable; why transform when we are going to be over-burdened and why change for better when we are already good.

5. To humanise the learning environment is more challenging for it requires more thoughts to making our universities and their curricula relevant to the society at large. Many faculties are inclined to transform their approaches to make more profits and to cater for the urban rich and ignoring the poor rural folks. There are disparities between the big 5 RUs and the newer and smaller universities in many aspects of R & D, good teaching, good supervising and good research.

Happy Merdeka

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Flora Malesiana International Symposium

1. The Flora Malesiana International Symposium started in 1992 at Jogjakarta and since then I hardly missed it until last week in Singapore 23-28 August. I had wanted to attend and present an update of the Malaysian pteridophyte flora as requested by Prof. M, Kato. I had made my accommodation bookings and also my flight to and from Singapore.

2. However, one bad news struck. The eye specialist diagnosed me as having myopic maculopathy and I had got to go through some immediate treatments otherwise she warned me I might go blind. I went through thorough testings and consultation until last week she injected a drug into my left eye and now I am having a big black spot in my left eye sight. Luckily my right eye is perfect that makes driving possible.

3. I had been informed the Malaysian botanical representatives are small in number and there were not many papers presented. However, Dr. L G Saw and Dr. R Kiew of FRIM were there; Dr. Rusea Go was there; Datuk Seri C K Lim was there too.

4. Well, I missed updating myself with the progress of Flora Malesiana and also Malesian botany. In addition, I missed the Flora Malesiana Foundation Board meeting which was scheduled for the 25th afternoon, of whih I am a long-standing member.

5. I hoped all went well with the Singapore symposium and I just hope I will be able to complete my Malesianum Vitacearum for the next symposium which may be in non-Malesian country.