About 40 members of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) attended a talk on ‘Lifelong Learning and Human Resource Development’ at the WOU main campus.
WOU Assistant Vice Chancellor (Academic Support) Prof Mohandas Menon told them that a good learning society is needed to create a knowledge society.
“People must be motivated, otherwise they will not learn to develop themselves. The internal motivation can be psychological, that is, to be or do the best, while the external motivation is getting a job, pay rise or promotion.”
In explaining a learning society, Prof Menon said that learning is now taken to where the learners are, that learning is for all, and people learn differently in the different types of media. He also mentioned the increasingly virtual infrastructure of learning, and the use of new networks, such as social networking. He shared that a survey by a WOU academic found that students are more comfortable logging on to Facebook than separately onto the learning management system.
Prof Menon stated that education and technology are the two equalisers in life, as access to these can lead an individual to any level of development. He also mentioned new developments in ICT such as Open Education Resources, video and audio streaming (via YouTube), smartphones, and audio/video conferencing.
During the Q&A session, a few MEF members felt that the conventional educational system in Malaysia is too exam-oriented, and shared that interviews of young job-seekers showed that many of them have a poor general knowledge.
Prof Menon agreed that if the students’ focus is just to pass exams, then they will not have a wider perspective of knowledge or be well-informed about current affairs.
Another MEF member suggested to all the attending employers and human resource practioners that they should perhaps consider rewards of promotion or salary increment to encourage their employees to learn.
The talk – organised by the WOU Marketing & Communications Department – aimed to expose the MEF members to the lifelong learning opportunities at WOU, and to highlight that the tuition fees at WOU are claimable under the Human Resources Development Fund.