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Leading The Way In Education Through Innovation

Last update: 04/02/2010
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IAB's director, Datuk Abdul Ghafar Mahmud
By Izham Shuhaimi Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 (Bernama) -- Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB) is re-defining its leadership role in transforming school principals into school managers and educational leaders of excellence.

Though IAB is the training wing of the Education Ministry, it wants to reach out to principals of private schools, international schools and state religious schools (Sekolah Agama Rakyat) as well.

In an interview with BERNAMA recently after IAB was presented with the ISO 9001: 2008 quality certificate by Moody International, IAB's Director Datuk Abdul Ghafar Mahmud said: "they too are considered as an asset to the country for they too will benefit from the best practices in human capacity building at IAB."

Appointed as the institute's 10th director three months ago, Ghafar said IAB emphasizes on quality innovation in its approach.

When asked for more details on this, Ghafar said in emphasizing quality innovation IAB had introduced the school-based management concept that provides autonomy up to 10,000 schools in the country and the principle of performance will be applied to evaluate the management's effectiveness in these autonomous schools.


Next, IAB will get the certification body to recognise its Master Trainers' Programme. This means lecturers at IAB who have acquired at least one of the three levels of Master Trainers' qualification are certified to conduct courses attended by school principals in the country, and perhaps in future facilitate international educational programme, seminar and workshop.

This is another move by IAB to upgrade the institute's training programmes to world class standards.

"IAB wants to be one step ahead in the education world as well as the top management leader in Malaysia."

IAB now focuses on six core areas - training, assessment, consultancy services, research and development, publication and strategic planning (think-tank). All these areas of expertise and specialization are geared towards the main objective of providing quality training in education management and exposing the multi dimensional leadership concepts to the education fraternity in Malaysia.

As part of the innovation in addressing the concern that school principals are always away attending courses, IAB will sub-divide its operational structure into zones - Johor in the south, Kelantan in the east coast and Perak in the north.

IAB already has a branch campus in Jitra, Kedah. By the first quarter of this year, an IAB branch campus will be operating in Santubong to cater for the needs of the education community in Sarawak.

At each zone, e-learning technology will be introduced to enable user-friendly learning, up-dating of knowledge pertaining to education, easy assessing to experts' opinion and consulting and communicating electronically between IAB and principals, and principals with teachers.


Commenting on IAB achieving the ISO 9001: 2008 quality management systems certificate, Ghafar said that it was a good start but this quality culture should be maintained consistently.

"I am proud of IAB - the first organization among the educational institutions to be ISO certified by external auditors' group, Moody International," he said.

According to Ghafar, to be ahead and to take the lead, IAB has to pace the innovation momentum to higher level.

Established on March 1, 1979, IAB was first known as Malaysian Educational Staff Training Institute (MESTI) and in 1988 it was changed to IAB in memory of the late chief education advisor for the Federation of Malaya, Aminuddin Baki. IAB's campus in Genting Highlands is situated 1000 metres above sea level with a daily temperature between 18 and 23 Celsius and surrounded by greeneries.

The campus also rents out training rooms for companies and organisations. Those keen can even rent a four-storey hostel complex with 400 twin sharing rooms, executive hostel with 100 rooms and the dinning hall that can accommodate 500 guests. Besides that, the campus mosque's prayer hall can accomodate up to 400 people.

IAB's initiative to rent out its physical assets is to generate income. IAB has to find alternative financial resources to sustain itself in line with the government's emphasis on prudent spending.


IAB has added a corporate communication division. This division is entrusted to handle requests and applications from international candidates wanting to attend educational leadership training programmes at IAB campus.

Apart from the education officers from within the country, IAB also receives candidates sponsored by SEAMEO, ASEAN, G15, ISESCO, UNESCO/ IIEP/ ANTRIEP.

Another important function of this division is to gauge the feedback on the effectiveness of the training programmes for school principals and IAB's own performance assessment.

On feedback management, Ghafar pointed out that the institute has a mechanism where the effectiveness of each training module would be constantly reviewed.


At the end of the day IAB wants to see schools run by leaders cum specialist teachers, said Ghafar.

He also concurred with the public perception of `Good School and Bad School' where the school's fate could readily be traced to the quality of its principal.