Though still on leave, i'm obliged when the call of duty comes. I just arrived in Cameron Highlands at 5.30 this evening. I share the exhaustion with my driver Nazri, my clerk Darolhisham and my student, Fairul, the President of Insmartive Club. I was made adviser for a community service project with the Orang Asli community of Cameron Highlands, organised by Insmartive Club next weekend. The students came to see me and asked me for my assistance. We'll be meeting the representatives of KEMAS and JHEOA tomorrow morning to finalise the arrangement and preparation for the programme.
Having served the University for almost 4 years, student development remains as my major interest. I'm grateful to be posted in the Student & Alumni Affairs Department on the early days of my service and I totally enjoyed the job.
When one is hired to work for the University, whether he likes it or not, serving the students' needs will always be the top priority, whatever his position or designation, be it gardener or Vice Chancellor. If one wanted to join the University just for the sake of money (...or crony!), that would be the beginning of a disaster!
Our students need members of staff who're committed to guide and counsel them. Those who would facilitate, not complicate. Our students need to be guided and grooomed as future leaders, and thus the staff should serve them profesionally and treat the students as adults. Many are still confused between dictating and guiding. Some of us thought that we've done enough to guide the students, but in reality we're dictating them! In the "Myth of a University", Guy Fitch Little explains that a university should be the cradle where future leaders are generated. The question is, have we done enough?
So, facilitate, don't complicate...as for me, the students will always be in my heart. Dear students, you're just like my own brothers and sisters! ;-)