By : Najihah Harun
Photo: Sabri Omar
SERDANG, 5 August - The Faculty of Science, and Centre of Foundation Studies for Agriculture Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) are organizing a programme to bolster and boost interest in Mathematics (Pengukuhan dan Peningkatan Minat Matematik) among students in rural secondary schools in the state of Selangor.
The Deputy Minister of Education I, Datuk P. Kamalanathan P. Panchanathan said the programme was among the initiatives to produce students who excel in mathematics as well as to foster interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
"STEM is crucial for the development of future generation and the country as it increases competitiveness in the development of current technology. In addition, career opportunities in these areas are higher compared to other areas," he said.
He added that the programme is in line with the efforts made by the Malaysian Ministry of Education to produce students with scientific and technical excellence in order to achieve a 60:40 ratio for science and non-science students.
UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Community Relations), Prof. Dr. –Ing. Ir. Renuganth Varatharajoo believed that the programme will trigger an alliance between schools and UPM in addressing and adapting the challenges in today’s education programmes to meet the needs of the country.
"I am honoured that UPM is given the opportunity to spearhead a programme that brings together students from rural schools to run a programme that focuses on enhancing students' competency and ability to master the subject of mathematics," he said.
The Director of the Centre of Foundation Studies for Agriculture Science, UPM, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Norihan Md. Arifin said the programme could change the students' perception towards Mathematics which had always been considered as a difficult and boring subject.
"I'm confident that the students' interest and motivation will improve by organising this type of camps, and that it will increase the appreciation of these rural students towards Mathematics," she said.
The three-day programme, attended by 208 students, also received support from the Malaysian Mathematics Society (PERSAMA) and the Fifth College, UPM. - UPM