Dr Maszlee Malik urged university vice chancellors and their deputies not to impose such restrictions as the higher education institutions were supposed to be an intellectual field. (NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR)

PUTRAJAYA: There will be no restriction on any educational programme, debate, forum or discourse at public universities, said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

He urged university vice-chancellors and their deputies not to impose such restrictions as the higher education institutions were supposed to be an intellectual field.

"University is an open intellectual field and in the era of new Malaysia, there should no longer be an restriction on educational programmes.

"Such restriction (imposed by the previous government) has caused some programmes scheduled to be held at public universities to be cancelled at the eleventh hour,” he told reporters at the ministry’s Iftar programme at SMK Presint 11 (1) today.

He said in an effort to make public universities an open environment, any form of barricade at the entrance would be prohibited.

"All barricades must be lifted as we want to stop that kind of environment in Malaysia, like how they did in University of Oxford and University of Cambridge," he said.

On a separate matter, Maszlee said the ministry had given the authority to teachers to launch their own initiatives in reducing the weight of pupils’ schoolbags.

"The ministry will launch a special committee to look into the mechanism to reduce the textbook burden among the students," he said.

Earlier in his speech, Maszlee, said the ministry planned to empower students at the religious schools, tahfiz and madrasah, with entrepreneurial learning.

"This is to ensure that the students are not merely focused on studying religion. It will give an added value to the schools and nurture entrepreneurship among the students," he said.

He said the ministry will carry out a new project involving Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for tahfiz students at community colleges nationwide.

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