WOU: Supporter in the fight against cancer

Wawasan Open University (WOU) extended its support for the 11th consecutive year to Relay for Life Penang, which was organised by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) Penang branch and the Penang Hospice Society. 

 WOU Corporate Communications Manager Rasidah Mion (left) presents the mock cheque to Dato' Seri Dr T Devaraj.

WOU Corporate Communications Manager Rasidah Mion (left) presents the mock cheque to Dato' Seri Dr T Devaraj.

The Relay was held today for the first time at Athletics Stadium, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), representing a change of venue from the Penang Youth Park.

WOU, in a show of support, was a silver sponsor and also sent a team of about 15 participants, comprising staff and full-time students, to join the walkabout. The aim of the annual event themed ‘Fighting Cancer Together’ is to create awareness on cancer, remember loved ones lost, celebrate survivors, and raise funds for the fight against cancer.

 The full-time students of WOU hold the banner high as they participate in the walkabout.

The full-time students of WOU hold the banner high as they participate in the walkabout.

WOU participants carried placards and a banner declaring the University’s support to the Relay since 2007 as they joined the survivors and other teams to walk around the stadium’s track. Some survivors had come from as far as Johor Bahru, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Taiping.

In his speech earlier, NCSM Penang Chairman Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj informed that this is the 13th year of celebrating the Relay in Penang to get people “to recognise that cancer is a burden and this burden can be reduced if all of us can work together, especially by leading healthy lifestyles”.

 Dr Devaraj welcomes the sponsors and particiipants.

Dr Devaraj welcomes the sponsors and particiipants.

In launching the Relay, USM Deputy Vice Chancellor (Industry and Community Network) Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Mohamed, quoted Malaysian statistics to state that “the risk of males getting cancer is 1 in 10 and for females is 1 in 9”. Cancer contributed to 14% of total deaths that occurred in Ministry of Health hospitals in 2015 and is reported to be the third common cause of death in Malaysia, he added.

“The best way to fight cancer is primary prevention through changes in lifestyle, which include not smoking, following a healthy diet, regular exercise and decreasing exposure to carcinogens. The best way to survive cancer is early detection through regular screening and checkups. Once diagnosed, remember that many of these cancers are curable,” he stressed.

 Prof Abdul Rahman calls on the crowd to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Prof Abdul Rahman calls on the crowd to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Prof Abdul Rahman presented certificates of appreciation to WOU - and other sponsors - as the emcee shouted, ‘Wawasan Open University, an old friend and wonderful ally of Relay for Life Penang!”

The event featured music, henna/face painting, entertainment, games, food stalls and exhibition to lend a mini carnival atmosphere for the enjoyment of the young and the old.

 Full-time students with WOU staff that include (from right) Assoc Dr Ramesh Chander Sharma, Kevin Tan, Chew Bee Leng (hidden), K Ranjini, Rabikha Hasni Suparman, Lim Yeang See and Sharon Alice Wiessy.

Full-time students with WOU staff that include (from right) Assoc Dr Ramesh Chander Sharma, Kevin Tan, Chew Bee Leng (hidden), K Ranjini, Rabikha Hasni Suparman, Lim Yeang See and Sharon Alice Wiessy.

Become employable graduates with WOU, freshmen told

The new full-time, on-campus learning (OCL) students were encouraged to develop themselves holistically during their study with WOU so that they become employable graduates and consequently enhance the image of the University.

Speaking at the orientation for some 50 OCL students from the September 2017 intake at the main campus today, Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye urged them to start thinking of the job they want to do so that they can groom themselves accordingly starting from day one of their academic journey at WOU.

 The new full-time students for the September semester.

The new full-time students for the September semester.

He shared that many corporate companies and bosses are saying that they cannot find suitable graduates, and hence the students must start preparing themselves. He said the focus is not so much on what the students have studied but rather on the soft skills. “How good are you in communicating with people? How good are you in speaking in English?”

Prof Ho added, “Your ability to communicate and your critical thinking skills. The employer will assess whether you are able to think, advise and help the company.” He told the freshmen to equip themselves with soft skills so that they are successful in job interviews as they are competing with candidates with the same qualifications. “The boss is interested in how you talk, how you communicate, how you answer the questions, what kind of thinking has taken place behind your answers.”

 Prof Ho offers pointers on how to succeed as a student of WOU.

Prof Ho offers pointers on how to succeed as a student of WOU.

He asked the students to individually design their own success as a student of WOU. They should be clear about their goals which may be different from those of their classmates. “Distinguish or make yourself stand out from the others so that you can find the right job more readily.”

He also advised them to become proficient in understanding technology as the future job market will be different due to the influence of emerging technologies. He assured that WOU’s programmes have been designed to groom them to achieve their goals. “WOU is a very innovative and forward thinking university that keeps in mind the future of our graduates so that you become readily employable by the time you graduate.”

 Students advised to master IT skills and to be active in co-curricular activities.

Students advised to master IT skills and to be active in co-curricular activities.

He also highlighted their need to be familiar with the learning management system, Wawasan2u, and realise the importance of participating in co-curricular activities to help strengthen interpersonal, critical thinking and networking skills.

Prof Ho called on the freshmen to be bold and ask questions and challenge the lecturers academically to build up their knowledge base. He advised that they form study groups and maintain good relationships with their Academic Advisors.

Lastly he requested that they play their role as good ambassadors of WOU by giving due attention to positive academic conduct and interactions with peers. “This is your duty as a good student of WOU”, he added.

 Penang Regional Centre director Teh Kim Kow (right) introduces his staff.

Penang Regional Centre director Teh Kim Kow (right) introduces his staff.

Earlier Penang Regional Centre director Teh Kim Kow introduced his team while School of Business & Administration (SBA) Senior Lecturer Yap Li Lian introduced the Academic Advisors.

The oath-taking was led by Al-Ameen Rosli, 21, who had enrolled in Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

 Al-Ameen leads the freshmen in reciting the students' pledge.

Al-Ameen leads the freshmen in reciting the students' pledge.

Among the attendees were Chief Operating Officer Yeong Sik Kheong and Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi.

ODL students hold blood donation campaign

About 45 people, in the spirit of giving and community service, turned up for the blood donation campaign organised by a group of part-time open distance learning (ODL) students of WOU.

 The blood donation campaign at the main campus in Penang.

The blood donation campaign at the main campus in Penang.

The blood donation drive held at the Homestead Hall of the main campus today witnessed 26 successful donors, and most of them were ODL students.

A few University staff did manage to donate, and among them were ITS Senior Database Administrator Shaffiah Mohd and Library Assistant Mohd Yusuf Hanafiah.  This was only the second time donating for Shaffiah and the fourth for Yusuf.

 Yusuf shows up at the campaign to do his part.

Yusuf shows up at the campaign to do his part.

The blood donation campaign proclaiming the message, ‘One pint saves three lives’, was organised by a team of nine adult learners pursuing the Diploma in Early Childhood Education programme. They conducted the campaign as part of their co-curriculum project, in collaboration with the Blood Bank of Seberang Jaya Hospital and Bukit Mertajam Hospital.

 Shaffiah puts aside her fears to donateblood.

Shaffiah puts aside her fears to donateblood.

According to Christina Yew Pei Phing, the project leader, “The purpose is to encourage and inspire the public, particularly young adults, to become lifelong blood donors and help save lives, thus contributing to the community at large.”

Her fellow team members were: Arikimah Joseph, Najeeha Natasha Noor, Choong Yee Ching, Kasturi Subramaniam, Woon Shieh Ling, Yeoh Chee Hin, Chua Siok Yong and Ng Boon Kee.

 Team members from the DECE programme help out with registration.

Team members from the DECE programme help out with registration.

Yew hoped that this campaign for a worthy cause also served to promote the image of WOU in the community.