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PENANG, 22 December 2014 - The award winning Reading Evaluation and Decoding System (READS) kit developed by the researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Educational Studies (PPIP) entered the overseas market today when USM collaborated with Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Bengkulu, Sumatera, Indonesia.

READS helps students to improve their English proficiency and helps the teaching staff to monitor student progress in the mastery of the English language.

Through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), IAIN will make use of the system and they hope that it will improve the students’ understanding of English especially those who considered English language as a foreign language in Indonesia.

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"This is an exceptional case where an Islamic institution in Indonesia gives emphasis to English," said USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Omar Osman.

"This is a very good move as it not only enhanced the mastery of English language, but it also encouraged the transfer of knowledge to a neighbouring country, thus extending the benefits of READS as an instrument of language to a much wider users and audience," added the Vice-Chancellor.

"The signing of the MoA is expected to be a starting point for a better international collaboration in the education field between the two universities as well as between Indonesia and Malaysia," said IAIN Rector, Professor Dr H. Sirajuddin.

"Through this collaboration, we will invite USM lecturers and particularly USM Vice-Chancellor as visiting scholars to share their knowledge and views on various fields with our students," added Sirajuddin.

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Besides signing a MoA with IAIN, USM has also signed a MoA with Livingston House of Language Sdn. Bhd. (LHL), a Penang-based company, for the same purpose that is to identify potential students to pursue specially designed English-based programmes.

According to the LHL Director, Chew Why Hoong, this collaboration will produce encouraging results to the students and lecturers directly or indirectly.

“I strongly believe this MoA will provide us a committed approach to working more closely together with USM the only APEX unviersity in Malaysia in achieving common goals in the areas of collaboration,” said Chew.

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Both the MoA shall remain in effect for three years and it is expected to mutually benefit all parties involved especially USM, IAIN and LHL.

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Also present were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) Professor Dato' Dr. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, Dean of PPIP Professor Dato' Dr. Abdul Rashid Mohamed, Vice-Rector of IAIN Drs. Hj. Zulkarnainand the LHL Chief Executive Officer Sonia Ong Lai Yan. - Translation: Tan Ewe Hoe/Text: Nor Rafizah Md. Zain/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md. Isa

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