Rare chance to meet educators

Professional advice: University representatives briefing parents and students during the fair at Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Nothing beats the spontaneity of face-to-face interaction, and parents and students alike had such an opportunity at Star Education Fair 2021, with strict Covid-19 SOP in place.

Vincent Pek, 53, who was at the fair to explore tertiary courses for his daughter Renne, 18, said that despite the availability of virtual correspondences with universities, it was not the same as meeting counsellors and educators in person.

“It has been tough visiting institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic. A fair like this is good exposure for the universities and a good chance for people like me to really understand them.

“We have not been able to go out and meet people like this to discuss Renee’s education options.

“Here, we can speak with them personally and calculate their offers, to compare prices.

“As a parent, a physical fair where we can meet the university representatives personally is a plus, ” said the financial consultant when met at the fair held at Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas.

Today is the fair’s last day.

Pek said they managed to gather the information they needed for his daughter to pursue her education in animation and arts.

Ang Wai Loon, 18, who is waiting to sit for the SPM next month, came to check out courses in IT.

“I wanted to know more about the available courses for my interests and managed to speak to people who helped me understand my options.

“I was worried initially about being at a fair but I feel safe here because of the strict SOP. And speaking to the representatives personally has given me a better understanding of the courses, ” he said.

Keith Yip, 18, who is waiting to sit for the SPM too, said he wanted to enquire about the requirements he needed to qualify for scholarships and accounting courses.

“I am sitting for my exams soon and want to know the minimum requirements for the course. I want to know what they are looking for so I can concentrate on certain subjects.

“It is always easier to communicate with people in person, ” he said.

Quest International University student recruitment division assistant director Prem Varges said it was important to have physical fairs as many were reluctant to ask questions during virtual interactions.

“With tertiary education, we need to showcase our talent and faculty members to build confidence in those planning to join us, ” he said.

Prem said they were initially worried about taking part in the fair due to the pandemic but appreciated the efforts of Star Media Group to ensure a safe environment.

“Providing face shields and limiting the entrants have made it a comfortable environment for us, ” he said.

UOW Malaysia KDU business development and marketing department assistant manager Alvin Ong said the university was now under a new brand, making exposure at an education fair essential.

“A fair is good for those interested to compare options and learn about the opportunities available. Parents still prefer speaking to counsellors in person, ” he said.

To top it off, a slew of talks were held at the fair to bring parents and students up-to-date information on various fields and the prospects of each option, as well as career path insights.

The career talks will continue today with further insights from exhibitors.

Visitors stand a chance to win a Sony wireless speaker after registering.

A bonus for parents is that Star Education Fair 2021 is held alongside the Perfect Livin home expo, a one-stop centre for homeowners to find fantastic deals on furniture and home appliances.

Star Education Fair 2021, the 33rd to be held since its inception in 1987, is organised by I.Star Events Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Star Media Group Bhd.

Held at Hall Four of Setia SPICE Convention Centre, admission is free and the fair will run today from 11am to 7pm.

For details, visit thestar.com.my/edufair and facebook.com/stareducationfair.

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