Varsities still relevant amid online learning

Johari speaks during the webinar.

KUCHING: The role of universities is still relevant amid the online learning conducted due to the Covid-19 health crisis.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology senior lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Johari Abdullah said this is in terms of accreditation to certify that an individual has completed their studies.

“University certifies your achievement, everyone can go to YouTube and claim that they learnt something but that is a self-made claim, no one is certifying you for that.

“But you still can put a stamp on the piece of paper (university certificates), and people trust universities,” he said during a webinar organised by The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI) on Saturday (Oct 2).

Johari however noted there were large technological companies which did not assess their job candidates based on their certificates, instead requiring them to undergo rigorous tests to see whether they were suitable for the positions offered.

At the same time, he said online learning could not replicate the full university experience of students.

“During your university days, apart from lectures, tutorial and labs, it is all about the interaction. Can you do that online? …probably yes, but it’s not the same,” he said.

The senior lecturer said however full-time online learning was not for everyone as it required high self-discipline.

Meanwhile, he said Covid-19, aside from the hassle and devastation that it brings, it managed to be the fuel that drives technological adoption as people had no other options.

“We can’t stop education, we have to resort to online learning, when it comes to working, we can work from home,” he said.