Wednesday, December 6

Youths must possess skills to deal with public – professor


KOTA KINABALU: Youths, being the largest group in the country, have been urged to be equipped and be exposed to self-resilient activities and be good citizens in the future.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah deputy vice chancellor of the Research and Innovation Division, Professor Dr Rosnah Ismail, said youths must possess the skills and knowledge that could help them deal with the public once they start working.

“Without proper exposure, they will not be able to accept development or be competitive in achieving success. To be self-resilient is the strength of the future generation,” she said when launching a seminar on strengthening youths’ resilience at the School of Psychology and Social Work held jointly with the Sabah Welfare Department Psychology counseling unit, here, yesterday.

She said such programmes aimed at educating while providing the undergraduates guidance on how to deal with the ‘real’ world, especially when they put their working attire on.

“Youths must be ready to play their role and be involved in community-based activities. For instance, UMS has been organising many of such activities such as counseling, tuitions and skill classes.

“Most of these programmes are carried out in the rural areas but this does not mean that the urban people are neglected. We try to be uniform in our community activities, be it in the urban or rural areas, because each have its own problem,” she explained.

The programme’s organising chairman, Dr Balan Rathakrishnan, said such programme needed the collaboration of all parties to ensure that its message reaches all youths.

Balan, who is also the school’s Research and Innovation Division deputy dean, hoped that relevant ministries, especially the Youth and Sports Ministry as well as non-governmental organisations would work closely with UMS to reach out to more youngsters.

“This seminar also aims at exposing participants, especially those studying psychology, on issues affecting the youths today and how best to tackle these problems. We also want to change the public’s negative perception on the younger generation as many of the social illness are somehow linked to this group of people,” he said.

He said through such programme, they also hoped to learn problems affecting the youths today.

Meanwhile, the School of Psychology and Social Work dean, Dr Murnizam Halik, said they are planning to carry out a community programme in Sook soon.

“To date we have yet to identify which village to carry out the project but we have done initial survey on how to run the programme,” said Murnizam, adding the selected village would then be adopted and they would be sending lecturers and students to help youths there.

Murnizam added that through their studies, rural youths lack an outstanding model to inspire them, and their limited exposure is causing the younger generation in the area to resort to jobs that are only available within their comfort zone.

“Their lack of exposure to the outside world is forcing them to land on jobs that they see growing up. So we hope that through our reaching-out programme, we will be able to touch more youths in the rural areas and help them achieve greater heights,” he said.