TAIPING, 28 July 2015 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) does not merely look at excellent academic results in the selection of its students, but also it is based on having a deep interest in other aspects which include leadership and the ability to be an agent of change.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Omar Osman said, USM aspires to nurture individuals who possess three characteristics in their personality, which are to excel in academics, having a deep interest in issues on sustainability and wellness, and a willingness to preserve nature’s resources.

He said, the youths who are highly-skilled and having deep awareness in issues concerning sustainability are essential to the future development of the nation and they form the basis in the creation of a responsible community.

“We have to realise the needs of the young generation as future leaders by ensuring that resources are sustainable, especially water as it is the essence of life on the planet.

“Nurturing the culture of sustainability from the onset is truly important in efforts to ensure the young generation of today would be able to become drivers of sustainable development and giving focus on the preservation of resources,’’ he said.

He said this in his speech when launching the Kem Pemimpin Muda Prihatin Air-ESD, Sekolah-sekolah ASP-Net dan Kelab Sejahtera Peringkat Kebangsaan Tahun 2015 at the Kompleks TM Taiping, here recently.

The programme, organised by the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE-ESD) Penang with full cooperation from the Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO (SKUM) and UNESCO-International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP Malaysia) is aimed at giving the students exposure on the importance of water (river) in life, the riverine ecosystem, and impact of localised development on water resources and the environment.

The Honorary Secretary of UNESCO-IHP Malaysia, Dato' Ir. Hj. Hanapi Mohamad Noor was also at the programme which was attended by 52 secondary school students and 16 teachers from 16 ASP-Net schools and Kelab Sejahtera from all over the country.

Omar also said, organising such a camp coincides with the efforts to provide students with the knowledge, skills and good values in shaping a sustainable future.

“Such a camp is capable of training and facilitates experiential learning in strengthening efforts to instil awareness, good values and proper attitudes concerning water.

“It is from a camp such as this, that leadership abilities based on sustainable development can be instilled, other than promoting higher order thinking skills such as critical thinking in collaborative decision-making on issues relating to water,” he said.

He added, this yearly programme is also in accordance with the objective in the establishment of RCE Penang@USM, which focusses on providing education for sustainable development among schoolchildren, youth and the local community.

Translation: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Text: Marziana Mohamed Alias/Photo: Dzulfikar Azmi Muhamad Aripin@Isa

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