An educational programme to fulfil the needs of gifted and talented students.
To be a fountain of inspiration for STEM Education and Research for the Gifted and Talented.
The PERMATApintar Education Program will nurture balanced gifted and talented individuals with inquisitive minds, individuals who shall contribute as world leaders, thinkers, innovators and humanitarians.
Explore, Innovate and Unique.
The diamond in the centre of the ring represents balanced individual who have wisdom, and relentless desire for knowledge.
The three tusks around the diamond represent a revolving wheel which illustrates the unceasing attributes of being exploratory, creative and unique in order to produce unique ideas with the sense of true majesty that rises above other ideas. The diamond in the centre of the ring represents balanced individual who have wisdom, and relentless desire for knowledge.
Malaysia is a country that places great emphasis on the development of excellent human capital that is well-equipped to face the evolving challenges of today and tomorrow. For YABhg. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, bright children are the country’s most valuable assets that need to be cared for and nurtured. To her they are the generation that someday will bring our country to the fore and be among the league of nations to be reckoned with globally.
The searching questions are: Where are these bright individuals? Who is helping them? What have they achieved? What have we done to ensure that every individual who has been identified as bright and intelligent gets an education that can help them realise their full potential? What have we done to ensure that the existing learning path fulfills their learning requirements? Do we have a specific programme that can assist them in optimising their learning potential?
We must look at these scenarios more vigilantly and seek to find the solutions fast as many studies have shown that if a society neglects or ignores the learning needs of its bright students, it is likely that their potential will not be optimised. If this oversight persists, they could just gradually vanish from society. This would indeed be a big loss as they are the country’s greatest asset and are irreplaceable.
According to theories and studies on intelligence, a bright individual has a high ability to think in an abstract manner, can adapt to difficult situations and is quick in finding precise information. Bright individuals also possess a superior aptitude in applying their general ability to specific knowledge, distinguishing relevant information and using the most effective knowledge and strategy when solving a problem.
Generally, individuals with a much higher academic ability compared to their peers are defined as bright or intelligent individuals. These individuals are fast learners in grasping complex concepts, particularly in science and mathematics, and are able to display creative and innovative work in many areas. They are also able to remain focused for a long period on any topic of learning.
Gagne F. (2005), an expert in intelligence concept once said:
Giftedness designates the possession and use of untrained and spontaneously expressed natural abilities, in at least one ability domain to a degree that it places an individual at least among the top 10% of age peers.
How It Began
It is a fact that bright students possess different learning traits compared to normal students; so, different learning methods must be applied to ensure that these bright students derive maximum benefits from their learning process.
To curb the problem of brain drain early and to ensure that the requirements of bright students in Malaysia are met, there is a need to develop a smart education programme. This is in line with the strategies implemented by developed countries like the United States, China, Australia, Japan and Korea where programmes for smart children have been in place as early as the 1930’s. This approach will lay the foundation for Malaysia to transform itself into a developed country by 2020, underpinned by a more innovative and creative population.
The idea to develop an education programme for bright students was expressed by YABhg. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah from as early as 2006. A series of discussions with local and foreign experts then took place to come up with the best formula for such a programme in Malaysia. That marked the beginning of Malaysia’s very own smart education programme now known as PERMATApintar . The launch of PERMATApintar as envisioned by YABhg. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor was in consonance with the Government’s vision of making Malaysia an industrial nation and to elevate its status to a high-income economy.
YABhg. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor visited several countries to gain a better insight on how education for bright students was implemented there. Institutions visited include the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University, United States of America, Mahidol University in Thailand, High School for Maths and Science at National University Singapore, Beijing Number 8 High School in Beijing, and several others.
Each visit reaffirmed that bright students have unique learning needs that must be fulfilled so that they can realise their optimum potential. These visits have given each party involved in the PERMATApintar project an overview of how such programmes can be successfully carried out in Malaysia. Subsequent to these visits, a working paper on the plan to embark on a programme for bright students in Malaysia was approved by YAB Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak in 2008. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was later appointed to implement the programme, and a fund was disbursed by the PERMATA Division of the Prime Minister’s Department to kick off the project.
To help start the enrichment programme for bright students in Malaysia, an agreement between Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Johns Hopkins University – Center for Talented Youth, Baltimore, United States of America was signed on 15 April 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. Among the key provisions of the agreement are:
There shall be consultation between Johns Hopkins University – Center for Talented Youth and UKM.
License payment for the use of the name ‘Johns Hopkins University – Center for Talented Youth’ for a period of one year.
The Summer Camp Programme offered by Johns Hopkins University – Center for Talented Youth was selected for adoption by PERMATApintar program but with some modifications.
Training for academic and management staff.
Monitoring of school holiday “summer camp” programme.
Sharing of teaching and learning tools.
The Concept of the PERMATApintar Programme
Overall, there are three main programmes under PERMATApintar namely, The Summer Camp Programme, PERMATA Pintar School, and Program ASASI Pintar (Pintar Pre-University Programme). The PERMATApintar programme sets the learning path for bright students beginning with the selection tests. Students aged 9 to 15 years old who succeed in these tests are offered the Summer Camp Programme. Students aged 15 years are given additional tests that emphasise Science and Mathematics. Those who succeed in these tests will then be offered enrolment in the PERMATA Pintar School for two years.
In developing the PERMATApintar programme, the following aspects were taken into consideration:
The suitability of the screening tests used to select bright students.
The search for bright students from all over Malaysia.
An enrichment programme that opens their minds to be more creative and innovative (d) an accelerated programme that boosts the student’s ability to be more innovative through research with experts, and this can be integrated with the national curriculum.
The National Education Philosophy which emphasises holistic self-development comprising physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social domains.
Such noble aspirations will not be realised if it is not supported by a good infrastructure. The construction of the PERMATApintar complex was divided into two phases. Work on Phase 1 started in early 2010 with an allocation of RM 23 million. This was fully completed at end 2010 to enable students of PERMATApintar to commence their studies.
The Nobelist Mindset Programme is one of the programmes under the Global Science and Advisory Council (GSIAC), a Cradle to Career Initiative. Championed by UKM and under the leadership of Professor Dato’ Dr Rahmah Mohamed, the objective of this pilot programme is to expose and train students, teachers, and young scientists in the mindset necessary to become a Nobel Laureate. While Nobel Laureates are a naturally gifted group of scientists, much of what drives their work is a specific mindset with characteristics in three main areas: persistence in the face of skepticism, seeing connections between the ideas that others don’t recognize, and creativity. Although innate talent cannot be learned, many of these skills that help make Laureates successful can be taught in a way that shifts the way scientists think about their work, organize their research, and plan their career to put them in a Nobelist mindset.