The future is unpredictable: Webinar

By Aqilah Alya 

GOMBAK, 22 March 2021: The future is unpredictable when the pandemic hit for it took a lot of changes in the method as in healthcare industry, and there was a need to be hands-on, a webinar was told on Friday (19 March)

Dr. Aida Nur Sharini, who is the director of IIUM Poison Centre, said being in the healthcare industry, she is ready to give the best in teaching and learning for medical students as the industry have the materials and resources for them.

“However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard to say that if they are ready or not,” she said.

She also added that they have to modify their methods since they need to do a virtual class rather than hands-on. “It becomes a challenge for the students involved in the healthcare industry.”

She further explained that they have to think of modifying the teaching and learning to make sure that the students understand the lesson they learned that suits the present situation.

Madam Zarina Nalla agrees with Dr. Aida that the future is indeed unpredictable. Zarina who is also the Head of Future Studies in Office of the Rector, IIUM mentioned that when the pandemic hit Malaysia, everyone has their struggle to survive in these new norms including the lecturers.  

“New norms make us suddenly have to know how to handle online class and prepare online materials. The students also have their struggles as my children too said that they do not prefer online class because they cannot focus and it is tiring,” Zarina added.

Zarina showed her concern on the future of IIUM students in which she emphasised how the university prepared for the students. She spoke to several students about how to get a job during this pandemic and the students are afraid and keep asking if they really can get a job or not.  

On the other hand, a professor from the Department of Economy, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Riasat Amin Imon gave a different point of view.  

Dr. Riasat, who is also a product of IIUM, felt that while we are being optimistic and confident it prevents us from moving forward. He spoke to some IIUM alumni from many different fields and they opined that IIUM graduates are not what they used to be. 

He pointed out some of points raised by Zarina in which in the old days, IIUM graduates were out-spoken but somehow these days, IIUM graduates are not being of that quality anymore. However, he thinks that the management is aware of this, and to achieve the objective of making IIUM graduates marketable is a great initiative. 

“To answer the question, mentally, I feel we are ready to take on the world and we may have the resources but institutionally, I do not think we are ready. I do not think we have the right construct and have what it takes to change the narratives and to make meaningful changes and impacts,” Dr. Riasat added.  

The moderator, Dr. Ahmad El-Muhammady asked the questions about the future of IIUM, especially within the academic settings of the Academic Staff Association (ASA) and IIUM World Debate and Oratory Centre (IWON).

The special edition Webinar 4 with the topic “Crossroads, IIUM 2040, Vision 2077, Convergence or Divergence?” was conducted at 3.00 p.m through Zoom and YouTube live on the IWON channel.***

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