SHAH ALAM: Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) is all set to implement the Gap Year programme under the Higher Education Ministry for the first time in September.
The programme, which was announced by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh recently, encourages students to take a year off their studies to participate in volunteering services with agencies such as the army and Civil Defence Department (APM).
UiTM vice chancellor Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Hassan Said in a statement today said through the programme, students are able to gain valuable experience which they cannot get on campus.
“Our UiTM-PDRM Police Academy Office in the Student Affairs unit is now in the final stages of preparing comprehensive and well-organised modules to regulate and monitor the programme.
“UiTM students from all our campus branches are able to choose their participation in voluntary work with our uniformed agencies, either the APM or the army.”
Students who volunteer and meet the conditions, he added, would be selected as participants and will be given training for a specified amount of time depending on the level of knowledge and skills they already have.
Following this, they can be chosen to be officers or members of APM or the army.
“For students training with the APM, they will carry out civil defence tasks whether in the Training Academy, Civil Defence Headquarters, or State, District or Unit Civil Defence offices.
“For those with the army, they will carry out tasks as officers or members in the Territorial Army, if conditions are met.”
According to Hassan, the Gap Year programme is the best means to achieve an added-value to students’ character building during university years.
It also helps in maturing students’ mental capacity and increases their knowledge, simultaneously preparing them to be more independent to face the working world in the future.
“This programme will produce students who are more susceptible to current affairs and able to foster their love for Malaysia.”