KUCHING (Jan 7): Education is more than just about scoring As but about building character through lifelong learning, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said the future leaders of the country, the young generation must strive to remain true to themselves as they continue to develop their skills and knowledge.
“Character is the most valuable thing you have because nobody else can take it away from you.
“The true test of a character is not in knowing what to do and how to do it, but it is in the choices you make when you know no one is watching. Do you procrastinate? Do you waste your time? Do you cheat or steal? Do you do what you have to do without being told? Do you look for ways to help other people without being asked?
“The answers to these questions are the key to your true character. While being honest and honourable when others are looking is important, being honest and true to yourself is just as important,” he said.
Abang Johari said this in a speech read by Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Dr Hazland Abang Hipni during Technology College Sarawak’s (TCS) 17th convocation ceremony held at Raia Hotel, here yesterday.
The Premier said while it would be easier to slide through life without a purpose or without proper guidance, one must always keep in mind the consequences of not staying true to one’s self.
“To be successful and achieve a fulfilled life, fresh graduates must take themselves to greater heights and motivate others with their thoughts and ideas.
“Sharing knowledge at the service of society and the community and exercising your power of knowledge towards helping, improving, empowering others, are vital in influencing positive changes.”
With TCS placing strong emphasis on student participation in community service, Abang Johari said he believes the new graduates have learned a lot about volunteerism.
“Community service is an important part of education, as well as in the development of behaviour, as students get the opportunity to learn leadership skills, teamwork, and learn about the community and the world around them.
“However, many students see community service as a way to get service points while socialising, while others may view it as an inconvenient requirement of college life. But what is true community service? A true community service is in the attitude. Are you doing it for the right reasons?
“Because at the end of the day, when it is all done, you can look back and realise that you did something worthwhile, without asking for anything in return,” he said.