Grads must be marketable
By Lyna Mohamad

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, yesterday highlighted the importance of human resource development and also the vast amount of money allocated for it by His Majesty's Government to train the local workforce in the various sectors. At the same time, HRH also called upon ITB for its own strategic plan to produce marketable graduates.

HRH said this in a sabda delivered during the 15th Convocation of ITB yesterday.

"In view of the importance of human resource development, His Majesty's government has allocated millions of dollars to fulfill the requirements for expertise and skills in the local workforce in various sectors including the field of education or teaching," he said.

HRH the Crown Prince added that such opportunities and facilities provided for these purposes should be utilised wisely.

HRH noted that it cannot be denied that human resources are a crucial factor in the development of the nation as it has been proven by developed nations whose production capacities rely entirely upon their human resources.

Institutions of higher learning have also experienced challenges that include those brought about by the rapid science and technology changes and development and ITB, on reaching its 20th year is now ready with its own strategic plan to produce marketable graduates competitive at an international level.

"In meeting these challenges, courses or programmes will also be diversified to cater for developments in the job market which require a high-tech capable workforce. In devising the relevant curriculum, it should be ensured that it is relevant to the field of education which fulfills the aspiration to produce graduates who possess the traits of technopreneurs," HRH pointed out.

ITB, HRH further noted, should also undertake programmes such as the raising of lecturers' qualifications, academically and professionally, and exchanges of officers with overseas centres for higher learning.

They should also open up opportunities for industrial placements and encouragelecturers to involve themselves in the field of research and offer short-term courses as well as consultancy services in their respective fields.

For the students, overseas industrial placements and student exchange programmes are measures that can be undertaken to provide themselves with wider exposure as well as enrich their knowledge and experience.

HRH stressed that the completion of their studies does not mean that the process of learning has ended for the graduates as learning is a life-long process and the diploma attained by the graduates is a step forward for them in pursuing further studies or beginning their careers.

Those who have entered their careers, their knowledge and skills should be enhanced by undergoing further training that has been provided or through their own initiatives and should be carried out in conjunction with pure values and positive attitudes such as discipline, commitment, productivity, sustainability and competitiveness.

HRH urged all the local lecturers to be continuously active in professional activities such as publication and optimise their added 'values' as such self-development efforts will therefore enable to raise the capacity and image of ITB.

Efforts towards upgrading the level of professionalism of lecturers and the quality of students, highlights HRH, as well as the cooperative relationships with industry and employers are very much welcomed.

"On that final note, we firmly believe that with the continued strategy and efforts, God Willing, ITB will be able to accomplish its vision of becoming the nation's acclaimed Higher Learning Institution in the fields of technology and trade." concludes HRH. - Borneo Bulletin (21st May 2006)