PENANG: Private institutions of higher learning have been told to ensure that foreign students who enrol for courses must be present at classes.
Education Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Mahadzir Mohd Khir said students might register for a course in Penang but were later found in Johor Baru.
“The colleges must monitor the foreign students and find out the courses they are taking and whether they attend classes,” he said when opening the three-day The Star Education Fair 2003 at the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa) in Relau yesterday.
Present were state deputy education director Abdul Rahman Yob, Star Publications (M) Bhd regional director Datuk Kamal Hashim and representatives from the 11 educational institutions in the northern region which contributed 147 awards worth RM2.5mil towards The Star Education Fund.
The 11 institutions were KDU College, Informatics, Equator Academy of Art, Institut Perkim-Goon, INTI International College Penang, Institut Teknologi Maklumat Nirmal Ipoh, Penang Medical College, Prime College Alor Star, Pusat Teknologi & Pengurusan Lanjutan Sungai Petani, Systematic Education Group and Sentral Education Sdn Bhd.
Dr Tan Toh Wah, the chief executive officer and principal of KDU Penang – which was the highest contributor of RM1mil to the fund, later led the other representatives to present the awards to Mahadzir who received them on behalf of The Star.
More than 80 local and foreign educational institutions have taken up more than 100 booths at the fair while career guidance talks and seminars are also being held.
The activities will include a top-10 exhibitors contest. Thirty visitors whose entries coincide with or are closest to the judges’ selections will get prizes.
Speaking to newsmen later on the impending war between the United States and Iraq, Mahadzir said the United States was only playing the war drum instead of solving the crisis in other ways like imposing conditions.
“Knowledge is not for destroying one another but to develop the human mind and should give us some humane feelings,” he added.
Mahadzir later led the VIPs and guests to join the Malaysians for Peace signature campaign organised by The Star.
In his speech, Kamal said the fair featured various activities to keep parents and students informed while contests were also organised to make the outing more interesting.
A large crowd of students and parents turned up at the fair even before the opening ceremony to enquire about the courses available.
Others came early to check out yesterday’s career talks such as Options after SPM, A Career in the Armed Forces and on Studying Abroad with three overseas graduates sharing their experiences with the audience.
Shuttle bus services between Weld Quay, Komtar and Pisa are provided for visitors.
The fair is open from10am to 7pm and admission is free.