PETALING JAYA: For the government's Genovasi programme to be truly successful, youths should be groomed in school itself to become innovation ambassadors, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pic) said.
"We used to say that knowledge is power but that's no longer the case. Innovation is the key now. Although the programme targets youths in their 20s, we must prepare them from school itself."
He said secondary school's streaming options should be changed to add more creative ones such as design.
"We also need to do away with the current concept of 90 per cent academic and 10 per cent co--curriculum. I think it should be 70 per cent academic and 30 per cent in co--curriculum."
Saifuddin said this was because it was through cocurriculum activities that students could actually cultivate their creativity further since there was no rigidness or control.
"We have this perception that a class is disciplined when it is quiet. But if you look at it from another way, quietness can also mean timidness," he said, adding teaching techniques must also be modified to this end.
Saifuddin reiterated his belief that youths "are ready" for a programme like Genovasi.
"Trust me, they are ready. It is us who must prepare ourselves to receive them."
The Genovasi programme, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Wednesday, is a new initiative to help create 5,000 youth ambassadors for innovation in the country over the next five years.
Expected to be launched early next year, Genovasi, a localised anagram for "innovative generation", will offer youths in their 20s 24--week courses to equip them with innovative skills.