Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik, said the decision was made after it was found that the iCGPA, since its implementation, had deviated the attention of lecturers from their main tasks, which are teaching, research, writing, supervising their students’ performance, as well as serving the public. — fotoBERNAMA (2018) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

PUTRAJAYA: The integrated cumulative grade point average (iCGPA) system is no longer compulsory in public universities in the country, effective immediately.

Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik, said the decision was made after it was found that the iCGPA, since its implementation, had deviated the attention of lecturers from their main tasks, which are teaching, research, writing, supervising their students’ performance, as well as serving the public.

He said the ministry had gathered feedback on the matter via sharing sessions and research with academicians and students, as well as industry and professional bodies.

“In the spirit of freedom and autonomy, the varsities are now allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to continue or drop the use of the iCGPA programme in their respective universities.

“If a university wishes to continue with the programme, the decision must have the consensus of its academic staff via a discussion session.

“However, if they wish to end the iCGPA, the balance of funds from having ended the programme will be channeled to their respective libraries to enable them to subscribe to quality international journals, thus spurring quality research and writing,” he said.

The iCGPA is a grading system which aimed to cover the students’ academic performance as well as professional ability gleaned throughout their years in university. The Higher Education Ministry started to pilot iCGPA at five faculties in five public universities — Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) — in September 2015.

Its aim was to produce graduates who not only excel in their fields of study (academically), but are also equipped with the necessary soft skills (such as English proficiency), knowledge (of the world at large, the sciences and arts), values (ethics, patriotism, and spirituality), leadership abilities (including the love of volunteerism), and the ability to think critically (accepting diverse views, innovation and problem solving).

Meanwhile, Maszlee said he had already requested vice-chancellor and deputy vice-chancellor of universities who are not in sync with the new government to retire honorably while those whose contracts were about to expire would not be renewed again.

“I have personally met them behind closed-doors and relayed the Cabinet’s message that we want this to be done voluntarily. We do not want two-faced people,” he said.

He also gave his assurance that the appointments of these two positions would from now be free of political influence. Selections, he said, would be based on recommendations by the universities and that an interview process would be required.

Asked on suggestions that the University and University Colleges Act (AUKU) be brought to Parliament next month, Maszlee said the government is giving its priority to matters pertaining to Pakatan Harapan’s 100-day manifesto first.

Maszlee also said lecturers are no longer to be given the responsibility of securing financial revenue for their respective universities, a task he said should be handled by the university’s finance department, not its academicians.

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