UKM has conducted PKAS boot camps on electronics for its first- and second-year students. Now, it will be organising one for school leavers.

IF you have just finished your Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination and are interested to learn the basics of electronics to prepare for higher education or enter the job market, here’s an opportunity to do so.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Engineering and Built Environment Faculty (FEBE) is organising a 12-day boot camp in electronics called the Graduate Academic Competence Empowerment Programme (Program Pemerkasaan Kompetensi Akademik Siswa) or PKAS.

It will be conducted during weekends and public holidays from Feb 1 to March 15 at the UKM main campus in Bangi, Selangor, where selected applicants will be trained by lecturers, postgraduate students and technopreneur fellows of the university.

According to PKAS director Dr Kalaivani Chellappan, the boot camp will introduce participants to basic electronics and its future role in Industry 4.0 (IR4.0).

“Participants will be exposed to basic electronics knowledge in business, and how it can be easily applied in line with the pillars of IR4.0, such as autonomous robots, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and additive manufacturing,” she said.

Skills that will be taught include ideation; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) product design skills; circuitry design; soldering skill; product assembly; and, production cost estimation techniques.

Kalaivani said PKAS have conducted similar boot camps for first- and second-year undergraduates, but this will be the first time that it is opened to school leavers.

To enroll, applicants need to fill in an online form at bit.ly/PKAS_EB19.

“We are looking for 15 participants. Applications must be sent in before Jan 19.

“Interviews will commence from Jan 20 to 25, and selected candidates will be informed by Jan 26,” she said, adding that basic allowance and food will be provided.

Accommodation will also be arranged for participants who need it.

Kalaivani said the selection process will look at the applicants’ utmost commitment to punctuality and attendance.

“There will also be a personality test to assess their entrepreneurial interest.”

Applicants must have an interest in exploring electronics knowledge and willing to participate in hands-on activities, and they should be committed to completing tasks.

“They should also have interest in product development,” she said, adding that preference will be given to those from the B40 and M40 groups.

In future, Kalaivani said PKAS intends to expand the programme to involve more rural students.

“But we need funding to carry this out in a larger scale.”

She said participants will become part of PKAS’ STEM product creation process.

“That’s going to be lifetime experience for them,” she said.

PKAS is confident that quality university students are moulded from those who have a strong interest and knowledge in STEM subjects at school.

“PKAS also trains students and UKM alumni to become entrepreneurs and technopreneurs in their respective fields.

“It aims to produce high-quality human capital in terms of scientific integrity, besides instilling patriotism to serve the country,” she said.

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