UCSI Group has, through the Office of the Secretariat of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), launched the Centre for Peace and Unity Education (CPU-Edu), with the support of total 10 NGOs following its cooperation through a Letter of Intent (LOI). More NGOs are expected to join in the Centre near future.
This initiative marks a constant following on UCSI’s part with current development, especially where many countries are still facing challenges concerning unity. The centre is designed for community building based on the principle of HIDUP: Harmony (H), Inclusivity (I), Diversity (D), Unity (U) and Peace (P).
SDG Secretariat Office Executive Director Norani Abu Bakar said the Centre aims to develop and implement transformative education that instils a character that is valuable, knowledgeable, with good attitude, skilful, and well-mannered to build peace at various levels, be it personal, interpersonal and environmental.
"The Centre also aims to educate and promote the environmental conservation through ecosystems, human harmony and natural relationships. In fact, it also aims to promote a positive lifestyle and life culture among youths. We align these CPU-Edu goals with the United Nations SDG (UN) or Global Agenda 2030.
“Various activities have been planned this year that target the participation of young people in this country such as video making and drawing competitions, which are Mystory and mySENI where participation has been extended to university students. There are also Peace and Unity Ambassador programmes as well as the Tan Sri Dr Omar's Harmony Award,” she said.
According to Norani, the planned programmes have also been receiving government support through the Department of National Unity and National Integration, where the Department will help to promote these competitions nationwide so that more young people can participate.
She said her office has been targeting for a transformative education so that the education accepted will be able to change the youths’ behaviour for the better.
“We provide high quality transformative education through programmes that have been running. We know students get their education but does it translate into behaviour?”
“We want the education to be in line with the UN framework that emphasises on education for sustainable development. So our programme is based on the UN framework, which is change of heart, mind set and behaviour. Hence, why it is called transformative education,” she said.
Meanwhile, UCSI Group's Vice President of Corporate Affairs (GCA) Leong Sat Sing said he was grateful that the efforts from their side have been well-received and supported by local NGOs.
“The attendance has been very encouraging as they hoped the centre would be the solution to the issues faced by the country concerning unity. The Centre is physically located at UCSI University, Cheras but it belongs to all those who sign this LOI. We just provide the hosting venue and secretariat services.
"The country today spreads a lot of bad news, with issues created by irresponsible parties with their own personal agenda, so our focus is on the young people under the age of 30 whose minds can still be moulded.”
“Young people these days can have more courage in expressing their opinions. In fact, we are grateful that the voting age has been reduced to 18 years old, which means that young people can have more power today and can make the difference. We hope they can be the catalyst for change and simultaneously become bolder in eradicating rumours and bad news,” he said.
Prior to the signing of the LOI, approximately 20 leaders representing various NGOs exchanged their views over interactive roundtable sessions so the main objectives of the centre can be understood by all.
NGOs that were present include The Blue Ribbon, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) -SDG Alliance, Laozi Culture Academy, KLIFF Church, Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, Federation of Taoist Association Malaysia, Dialog Rakyat, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Bahai Community of Malaysia, the Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM), and the Kingsley Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific.