UMLIC: peeling PART 2

Articulating groundwork.

learner’s analysis 

Lecturers

The lecturers of this tertiary institution, some have the positions as Prof., Dr., Associate Prof,…even those without the “titles” are currently pursuing their doctorates. This means they have lots of experience in terms of their field. They have studied (thoroughly and still going) and taught the subject. Not only that, the profesion being of being an educator comes another package: Read a lot to accentuate the item “being knowledgeable”. This leads to they do “know” what is soft skills. “Know” here refers to familiar with the word soft skills. Being familiar leads to intelligent but could be-not-definate guesses of what are soft skills. Could-be-not definate guesses meaning not able to list accurately the 7 soft skills.

Besides that, some of these lecturers were not lecturers before. Some were engineers, some were business managers, entrepreneurs but then opted being a lecturer as one of their careers. I could say that these people are VERY familiar with soft skills. Therefore, there can be two type of familiari-ties,

  1. Familiar and adept with the 7 skills

  2. Familiar but vague interpretation of the 7 skills

Without a doubt, in each of their specialised fields, soft skills are much of an importance. For example in Engineering, there is a particular subject that touches on the soft skills needed by engineers. Same goes for Business, and Law. In every profession, being techical-smart is not sufficient, one need to be all-rounded. hence, I believe that not only in a teaching degree, soft skills is much highlighted or being encouraged to be practised. Moreover, industrial training (IT) is also part of cultivating and learning soft skills. Some students go through IT in their second year, while some in their third year.

Then comes to a point, why are these graduates not able to perform well in the matters of soft skills. Some of you would say or think, if I have written all the above, why such an issue on lack-of-soft skills-among-undergrads (as lauded by many certain parties).

Now,we can’t say just there are cases where students have problem with soft skills, all the students in UM have problems in soft skills. Bear in mind, there are students who excel in both soft skills and their field.

So how about those who have problems? Aren’t the lecturers not doing anything? One more point, lecturers being lecturers, the students’ performance in the outside world does worry them.

Now, the reasons (on the lecturers) will be obvious and too familiar.

Too much work. Lecturers in a public institution do not only lecture, they have other paper work to deal with such as research and writing articles for journals etc. In order to maintain and enhance their knowledge, this is a must.Too many students. Some have mass class. Now, lecturers do give out assignments that encourage soft skills. It is just that some may not have an evaluation paper that includes soft skills or they haven thought the right way to add in. Right way here means the when evaluating students’ soft skills, these end result will be valid. What about small classes? For that, I could say, again, they have never thought of evaluating the students on soft skills. The lecturers may have preached the importance of cultivating certain soft skills from these assignments but evaluating may seems secondary. And ANOTHER THOUGHT, they may be a minority of lecturers that actually did evaluate on soft skills.  

Too experienced. LOL. For this, I can say the “veteran” lecturers would believe there is another method of instilling soft skills. Some may think these methods may be traditional, they(the v. lecturers) may think it works.

Next the SUBJECT itself. Not all the final year subjects need soft skills. Subjects that the focus is the technical part do not share the same emphasis compare to other subjects where 50% of the essence is soft skills. The priority should be given to these subjects. Insisting that all final year subjects need a fair percentage in soft skills will ruffled some lecturers’ feathers.

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