Public varsities can do away with iCGPA (Updated)

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry has allowed public universities to either continue using the Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average Assessment (iCGPA) programme or to do away with it altogether.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the decision was made after consultations and exchanges of opinion with academicians and students. It takes effect immediately.

"Their feedback revealed that the lecturers' main focus which is to teach has been deviated into conducting research, writing, supervising post graduates and community service," he told reporters at the Higher Education Ministry building, here today.

Should universities opt to continue the iCGPA programme, Maszlee said the decision by their managements must be made with consensus from their academic staff.

"If the public university wants to stop the programme, access funds from the ceasing of the programme will be channeled towards university libraries in an effort to enable them to subscribe to quality international journals. This will indirectly encourage more quality research efforts and scientific writing," he said.

In an effort to ensure that lecturers and academicians could focus on their teaching duties, he also announced that they would no longer be entrusted to increase the financial resources of their universities.

"It is the universities' financial department main task to increase their revenue and not the academics," he said. "Should those appointed to increase the universities' revenue fail, they should be replaced with someone more qualified to do so."

He also called on university publishers to increased their efforts to publish more quality research books in English and ensure that it gets marketed at a global level.

"It is my hope as Education Minister to see that from this year onwards, the writings of local academicians can be spread across the world and uplift the standing of Malaysian public universities at international level," he said.

On another matter, Maszlee announced the formation of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) committee, which will be chaired by Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

"The committee will act by preparing a report to uplift and strengthen the TVET levels in the country.

"Nurul Izzah is someone who is very passionate about the TVET education in the country and has discussed with me on how it can aid the younger generation to grab valuable work opportunities and entrepreneurship," he said.

When asked on the timeframe of the report, Maszlee said it should preferably be completed by committee within a year.

Nurul Izzah, who was also present, expressed hope that TVET graduates will be the backbone and driving force of the manufacturing industry, similar to Germany in the future.