Gifted children need to be groomed: Rosmah

LONDON: Many of the Permata gifted students have conducted research and these have been published in index journals.

Wife of Malaysia’s prime minister Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is the patron of Permata, said most of these students were tutored by members of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Thus, the signing of a memorandum of understanding between UKM's Faculty of Science and Technology with Cambridge University's Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Department would benefit the Permata gifted students, she said at the signing of the MoU, here, Monday.

The MoU was signed between the head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology of University of Cambridge, Prof John Dennis, and dean of UKM's Faculty of Science and Technology, Prof Sahrim Ahmad.

Also present were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, Minister in the Prime Ministerial 's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Datuk Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi, UKM deputy vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Riza Atiq Abdullah Rahmat, Cambridge University international officer Allen Swales and its Department for Research deputy head Prof Elizabeth Hall.

Rosmah said gifted students had high-level abstract thinking and capability to acquire and apply advanced knowledge and strategies to solve problems, as well as to adapt them to novel situations.

"When groomed from young, their giftedness can be optimised to surpass the highest level of performance in any given field, " she said.

She also said that Cambridge's Prof Elizabeth Hall, who was visiting professor at the Permata Pintar's Nobelist Mindset workshop held at UKM last September, had opened opportunities for the students to learn more about the STEM ( science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

"Her involvement has enabled students selected for the Science Institute to visit Cambridge as part of their study programme," she added.

Rosmah hoped that the initial involvement of Prof Hall with Permata Pintar would lead to greater collaboration that could create opportunities and pathways for Permata students to benefit from the offerings at Cambridge University.

She also hoped the university could assist in the setting up of the Permata Research Centre that would provide the most conducive environment to grow a culture of excellence in research among the Permata alumni. — Bernama