‘Robotics and coding essential to future-proof the next generation’

Jamil (in black suit) accompanying Abang Johari (centre) during a brief stop at a booth showcasing drone technology.

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By Karen Bong

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Dec 19: Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak has already integrated robotics and coding as part of its classroom syllabus as it recognises that technology is an essential component in education to prepare children for the demands of the future.

UiTM Sarawak Rector Professor Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali emphasised that society today can no longer deny the significant impact of drone and computer technology on everyday living.

“It has also become an area of great innovation and creativity, even in the field of economy.

“Hence, there is a need to consider the impact of this technology on the economy,” he told participants at the 2nd International Conference on Computer and Drone Applications (IConDA) 2019 at the university’s Campus 2 here.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg officiated at the conference which was attended by some 200 participants from inside and outside of Malaysia.

Co-organised with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), this year’s conference is themed ‘Technological Convergence for Digital Economy Advancement’.

UiTM, Jamil pointed out is always supportive of creating a culture of innovative and a dynamic society.

“It would not be too ambitious for me to say that we expect to produce aspiring future scientists, academics, and professionals with specialised expertise and knowledge.

“At the grassroots level, we are also in the midst of encouraging a pool of young talents in drone technology,” he said.

Jamil added that this will open up more perspectives on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) which are crucial to developing skills for the future.

“Although the local scene is still nascent, the drone technology scene can develop further with public-private partnerships and the involvement of other relevant government agencies to assist in engaging and developing the drone-tech industry,” he said.

One major driver on this front, he highlighted, was the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), which kicked off an initiative to develop the drone scene in 2017.

“Also, collaborating with the Entreprenuer Development Ministry may also boost the creation of ‘dronepreneurs’ in the drone-tech industry.
“So, instead of being a big fish in a small pond, promoting and nurturing ecosystem for new technologies would be better for Malaysia,” he added.

As such, Jamil pointed out that IConDA is one of the perfect platforms to engage all participants in an open constructive dialogue about the significance of drones and computers as well as how they are affecting people’s lives.

“I believe that this is an enriching platform for all of us to achieve greater success amongst us as we discuss issues in developing and managing the growing computer and drone scene in the country,” he said. — DayakDaily