Do more for the for the kids, Rosmah tells varsities By Heidi Foo 2009/06/13
Institutions of higher learning have been urged to expand their role by involving themselves in programmes for young children. Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said colleges and universities should follow the way of their foreign counterparts and break away from the academic chrysalis. “Early childhood development is often perceived as trivial and suited only for childcare centres and kindergartens, but through my visit to many well-known foreign institutions, I find that they are also involved in potential development programmes for young children. “Take for example the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, which has organised summer camps for gifted and talented children through the Centre for Talented Youth. “In Singapore, the National University of Singapore has set up a Science and Maths Secondary School to preserve the country’s skilled human capital in the fields of economy and education.” Rosmah, who is the patron of Malaysian Children’s Hope Foundation (MCHF), said this during the launch of Kem Harapan Sapura at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim) here yesterday. She was pleased that Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia had organised a programme for talented children during the school holidays. Program Permata Pintarwas aimed at children aged between 9 and 15. Rosmah hoped Usim would adopt a similar approach and create a strategic cooperation with MCHF to embark on a programme for children. Kem Harapan Sapura saw more than 300 orphans and underprivileged children participating in a three-day camp jointly organised by Usim and MCHF, and sponsored by Sapura Group. Present at the launch were Datin Seri Raja Salbiah Tengku Nujumuddin, wife of the Negri Sembilan menteri besar, Usim Vice-Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Shukor Husin and Datin Yazreen Yahya, wife of Sapura Group chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin.