Undergrads Lack General Knowledge
UNIVERSITY students are intellectually weak because they are lazy and not because they are spending time in politics, a backbencher said yesterday. Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) said these undergraduates only read notes provided by lecturers or those obtained at tutorials. “They don’t go to the library and pursue additional knowledge to improve their minds. “They don’t read reference books as these are in English. They said it is difficult, gives them a headache. They go for examinations equipped only with the information obtained from the lecture hall,” he said during the debate on the Universities and University Colleges (Amendment) Bill 2008. The bill seeks to give more freedom to undergraduates in the country’s 18 public universities to take part in campus activities. It also aims to streamline the administration of universities and provide better welfare benefits to staff and the undergraduates. Tajuddin said the undergraduates should be concentrating on improving themselves to face the rat race. Responding to the widely-held perception that university students were not doing well in their studies because of involvement in politics, he said: “I am not saying politics is not important. I am saying they should concentrate on improving their minds first. “This country needs engineers, accountants, industrialists, entrepreneurs.” He said the country needed to move forward by becoming producers rather than becoming consumers. Tajuddin said his observations were based on his experience interviewing undergraduates for work in his company. “I have interviewed many of them and although they were graduates, they had little general knowledge. What little general knowledge they had was poor because they did not read enough,” he said. Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) said the changes in the Universities and University Colleges Act would improve the administration of universities. He said the government should find ways to encourage idealism among university students. “It has to be established if student activism had brought about poor performance among them,” he said. Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) did not think there was a correlation between academic excellence and politicking. He felt there should not be double standards and the government should allow opposition parties to be active on campuses
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