Dr. Muzaffar Syah Mallow
Dr. Muzaffar Syah MallowFaculty of Syariah and Law

As many universities and colleges including Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) will be having their convocation for the graduates, one cannot stop wondering and asking a simple question do a perfect Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) guarantee our student’s future and their survival in harsh reality of the outside world?

Of course having a good CGPA is crucial to get the best student award from the respective learning institution or get exemption from repayment of certain study loan which allow such exemption to be given to any best student, but would it guarantee their place in this competitive world which demand more than academic excellent and qualification? Well, short answer to this is no as there are many skills which seen lacking among the graduate in order for them to face the harsh reality of the outside world. The theoretical knowledge which the student have learn in the classes and during tutorial is only a part of what’s necessary for them to land in the outside world.

Nowadays, employers are becoming more and more concerned with what they call the “skills gap” in today’s graduates. They’re concerned that today’s graduates doesn’t have all of the necessary “soft skills” to succeed in today’s workplace. Although a strong background in traditional “hard skills” like writing, mathematics and science will always have its place in academic and career worlds, an increasing number of employers desire prospective employees with certain “soft skills”.

Soft skills here include the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and the willingness to learn through experience. Soft skills cannot be learn through a single subject as many higher education institution are currently trying to do, it is something which need to be expose during early age by qualified instructor including with good parenting. As such, it is important for our students in the country to develop and even master the soft skills component during early age in kindergarten and school before they start entering university or college.

There are several importance soft skills students require to have like pleasant personality, honesty and integrity, team work collaboration, confidence, communication sand interpersonal skills, ability and creativity in problem – solving, time management, discipline, good leadership and others. The new integrated cumulative grading system for the students which recently been adopted under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015 – 2025 (Higher Education) will assess academic performance as well as values, community service and leadership qualities. The new integrated cumulative grading system for the students will create more marketable, competitive graduates in the long run.

However, it might take some time for the result of this new system to be seen by us. For the time being, all education sectors in the country need to work together and developed comprehensive and effective plans on this issue in order to produce graduate with proper and enough skills needed in facing with the harsh reality in the outside world.

Congratulations to graduands from all universities, especially USIM for they have successfully completed their studies, in this convocation week, which takes place from Nov 21 to 23, 2017.