PUTRAJAYA - A university college is to be established in Malaysia with courses dedicated to design-thinking focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the setting up of the so-called Genovasi University College (GUC), with 'genovasi' formed from 'generasi and inovasi' (generation and innovation), had the approval of the Higher Education Ministry.
The college would reach out to a wider audience and position Malaysia as a hub to promote design-thinking, he said in his speech in conjunction with the 'Cultivating a Thinking Culture' showcase at the Perdana Putra Complex here.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) Advisor Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa and AIM CEO Datuk Mark Rozario were also present at the event.
"This aligns with other initiatives such as the Design Thinking Association of Malaysia, which among others, looks to expand Genovasi and Design Thinking into the ASEAN region," Najib said.
Genovasi, which was launched on Aug 1, 2012, aims to have Malaysian youths foster the culture of innovation using the Design Thinking (DT) methodology as a skill to create community-centric projects, which is the new wave of wealth and solutions to improve public service delivery.
Earlier, Najib chaired a meeting of the Governance Council of AIM.
The Prime Minister said Genovasi Malaysia, which is governed under a public-private partnership between the Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) Foundation and Ancom Berhad, is one of the Hasso-Platner Institute (HPI)-certified Design Thinking schools in the world.
"It is here that a human-centred approach to innovation has been disseminated to more than 3,000 Innovation Ambassadors and 33 public organisations such as the Royal Malaysian Police and the Public Works Department," he added.
At the same event, Najib also announced that nine out of 10 pilot schools from the International Baccalaureate? Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) programme had received the IB World School accreditation, and the remaining school is expected to receive verification later this year.
"Our nine schools now join a select cadre of 1,424 IBMYP schools worldwide. This is a tremendous achievement and I would like to acknowledge their effort and drive to achieve this prestigious award. I must stress that the government's efforts in bolstering education does not just involve providing funds. The Malaysia Education Blueprint for 2013 to 2025 is a comprehensive plan consisting of 11 shifts to transform the education system.
"The Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR) and the Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah (KSSM) will develop Higher Order Thinking Skills to enhance the potential of students. I cite these examples as demonstration of the government's resolution to transform Malaysia into a global model for high-quality education," he said.
Najib also presented certificates to the principals of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sungai Tapang, Samarahan, Sarawak; Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Perak; SMK Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Kedah; SMK Putrajaya Presint 9(2), Putrajaya; SMK Pantai, Labuan; Kolej Tunku Kurshiah, Bandar ENSTEK, Negeri Sembilan; SMK Seri Tualang, Temerloh, Pahang; SM Sains Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, Kota Bharu, Kelantan; and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama (SMKA) Sheikh Abdul Malek, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.
IBMYP was initiated in 2013 at 10 public secondary schools across Malaysia in order to support one of the core elements of the National Innovation Strategy, which is to Build Future Skills Today, promoting fundamental concepts of intercultural understanding, communication, holistic learning, development of students, capacity for Highly Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and interdiscplinary connections.
Meanwhile, Genovasi Malaysia Sdn Bhd CEO/Executive Director Datuk Lee Yew Meng said GUC would would be temporarily located next to its Genovasi School at Section 13, Petaling Jaya.
"The range of GUC's executive programmes will target Malaysia's estimated one million employees who have significant executive and supervisory experience but with no tertiary qualification," he said.
AIM, in a statement today, said the GUC will collaborate with TalentCorp to offer programmes in line with the country's Critical Occupations List with the target to contribute to the achievement of zero-graduate unemployment, as well as offer scholarships to single mothers and students from families in poverty.
It said the university college had designed every programme to include entrepreneurship, intra-preneurship, as well as innovation knowledge and skills that promote the creation of a highly-skilled workforce and a high-income economy for Malaysia.