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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES01

9712-MANAGING STUDENTS EFFECTIVELY-HOSTEL LEVEL

Paper at Course for Student Development Officers of PPP/ITM Tanjung Bidara Beach Resort, Melaka 26-29 December 1997 by Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. MB ChB, MPH, DrPH (Harvard) Professor of Medicine & Deputy Dean i/c Residential Colleges, Tarbiyat & Training, International Islamic University PO Box 70 Jln Sultan PJ 46700 Telephone 60 3 755 3433 Fax 60 3 757 7970

ABSTRACT

This paper describes the hostel management system introduced by the author at the International Islamic University. The 3 main feature of the system are (a) decentralization of hostel administration and student activities and programs (b) Managing Students by keeping them busy in good activities such that they have no time for bad activities (c ) Continuous service and accessibility of all hostel staff. Each hostel is led by a full-time principal assisted by 3 full-time officers: a Manager for Student Activities, an Assistant Manager for Student Activities, an Assistant Manager for Administration, an Administrative Assistant, and 3 security officers working 8-hour shifts. All full-time staff work on a flexi-time basis such that there is a responsible person in the hostel at all times including lunch hours from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm and one is on call throughout the night. The following officials are shared with other hostels: sports coach, counsellor. A senior or post-graduate student is appointed as mushrif to look after 100-120 students and he/she stays on the same floor or wing with them in a separate room. A naqib/naqibat is in charge of 16 students and is supervised by the mushrif. The principal is responsible for physical maintenance, cleanliness, discipline, tarbiyat, training, and all student activities in the hostel assisted by all the personnel mentioned above. Each college has its own discipline committee. There are student committees in charge of various activities.

 

1.0 OVERVIEW

1.1  Decentralization and corporatization

The hostels are run as a decentralized system. Most student non-academic services that previously were provided through the Student Affairs and Development Division (STADD) are now provided by the hostels. The hostels will be run as mini corporate units that are expected to use the most modern methods to provide high quality services to their clients, the students, while at the same time they are efficient and effective in the use of the resources allocated to them.

 

1.2 Organization and Management

Under the decentralization plan students are served by three main systems that complement one another: the Hostel Administration (HA), Academic Teaching Departments (AC), and the Student Affairs & Development Division (STADD). HA provides services within the residence. AC provides academic education and related services. The Student Affairs division provides student services at a university-wide level. The hostel provides specified services for students for a fixed room and board fee. These services include: room accommodation, tarbiyat & training, sports, recreation, and entertainment.

 

 

1.3 Tarbiyat and Training

Tarbiyat and training programs are decentralized and are run by each college. The guiding vision is to uplift/improve the students’ standing in the following aspects: (a)  character, and behaviour (b) Islamic thought and knowledge (c) motivation and commitment (d) practical skills in leadership and management. The university recognises the importance of extra-curricula tarbiyat and training programs in the overall development of the student and has allocated time and resources to this end. The University has made some tarbiyat and training programs compulsory for all students. All university official activities involving students and faculty are suspended on Fridays (10.00 am to 1.00 PM) to allow both students and faculty participate in tarbiyat and training programs. Academic staff are encouraged to provide 3 hours per month in student tarbiyat and training programs.

 

1.4 Discipline

The residential college will enforce the university regulations on discipline within its walls. It will have a disciplinary committee that will meet regularly and hear cases with power to impose specified punishments

 

      2.0 SENSE OF BELONGING

      Each college is encouraged to develop its own sense of belonging. This includes inter alia:  (a) symbols such as a college name, a college emblem, a college motto, a college song/anthem, a college flag/colour , a college blazer, a college badge, a college pin  (b) college sports teams, college activity clubs & associations, college nasyid  group, and college cultural groups college ceremonies to welcome new students, bid farewell to graduating students, and honour student achievements (d) College Ta’ruf programs (e) A college open day for parents and friends.

 

3.0 HOSTEL MANAGEMENT

3.1 Each college is an autonomous administrative and social unit within the university. The organizational structure is pyramidal. The undergraduate wing of each college consists of 6 hisbats. Each hisbat consists of 8 usrats. Each usrat consists of 4 rooms. The number of undergraduate students is 128 in each hisbat, 16 in each usrat, and 4 in each room. The postgraduate wing of each college will be one hisbat with students staying in single rooms. Eight rooms constitute an usrat.

 

3.2 The hisbat and usrat are recognised as social and organisational units within the university’s structure. All non-academic programs and activities of the university are based on them as  basic functional units. The hisbat and usrat are encouraged to become on-going units of Islamic fellowship and a permanent network that are maintained even after graduation. Each hisbat has students from the same academic year who move together through the university years. The room allocation policy seeks to establish an equilibrium between cultural integration and cultural compatibility. Students are not put in the same room on an arbitrary basis. The aim is to set up a well-functioning team.

 

3.3 A college principal is appointed on a full-time basis to be the chief executive officer in the college handling all its affairs including tarbiyat, administration, and discipline. The principal is selected such that he or she is a mature, respectable, religious, and balanced individual who has had experience in managing large people institutions. The Manager, Student Activities is responsible for Tarbiyat, Training, Sports, Recreational and other student activities. The Assistant Manager, Student Activities assists and reports to the Manager of Student Activities. The Assistant Manager, Administration & Maintenance assists the principal in the general administration of the college and its physical maintenance. The Administrative Assistant provides administrative support or works on specific assignments assigned. Part-time Student Employees are employed on an ad hoc basis whenever there is excess work. Security officers reporting directly to the principal are deployed to maintain 24-hour security coverage and to assist the principal with discipline cases. A mushrif will be appointed for each hisbat to be in charge of all training, tarbiyat, management, and disciplinary issues. The mushrif will be a mature respectable and balanced post-graduate or senior student. A naqiib will be appointed for each usrat and an assistant naqiib for each room. The following criteria will be employed in selecting the naqib: 1 or 2 academic years above the usrat members,  maturity, good character and leadership potential, and good academic standng with CGPA of not less than 2.0 to make sure that additional work as Nuqib/Naqibat does  not affect academic performance.

 

3.4 Full-time hostel officials are employed on the basis of availability for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.. Full-time college officials work on a flexi-time basis such that there is at least one official at any time between 8.00 am and 9.00 pm everyday of the week including weekends and one of them will be on call from 9.00 pm to 8.00 am. The officials will be cross-trained to substitute for one another.

 

3.5 The hostel office shall be manned from 8.00am - 9.00 pm daily 7 days a week to be able to provide services for students on a continuous basis. The principal and other college officials are reachable on a 24-hour basis by hand-phone or beeper. The college administration is not bureaucratic. It is student and service oriented emphasizing satisfaction of the student as a customer and using the problem-solving approach. Each college holds at least one General Assembly every semester attended by officials of the Residential College Unit, the Principal, the Assistant Principals, and all members of the college. The meeting will discuss general issues affecting the college.

 

4.0 STUDENT ACTIVITIES

5.1 The following tarbiyat and training programs are compulsory: (a) Usrat character-development twice a month, (b) dynamic motivation once a month, (c) tarbiyat camp once a year, (d) leadership skills once a semester, (e) and down-to-earth social service once a semester. There are many optional programs that student can participate in.

 

5.2 The usrat meets twice a month for 2-3 hours. Six sessions are held every semester and 12 sessions in a year. The sessions are held at pre-designated venues preferably within the residential college to allow effective supervision. The time distribution for the usrat is as follows: Usrat Qur’an Study Module, 20%; Usrat Discourse Module, 50%; Current issue analysis 20%, and Administrative matters, 10%.

 

5.3 Each student attends a compulsory motivation program once a month. The program is 1-2 contact hours. It will consist of salat (15 minutes), a motivational after-salat talk (15 min) followed by an open discussion forum (30 minutes), and a collective pot-luck meal. A member of faculty or an invited guest speaker is invited to lead the prayer and give the motivational talk. One of the sessions in a semester will be devoted to talking about problems and issues that arise out of campus life.

 

5.4 Each student, once a semester, must undertake social service/khidmat ijtima’iyyat on a day or place of his/her choice. The program requires 2-3 hours of actual service delivery/work. The college provides guidelines and assists the student in making contacts with the site of service. Social service activities as far as possible are held at the campus or at sites close to the campus and reachable by public transport in less than 30 minutes. Sites far away can be considered only if there is special sponsorship of the transportation costs. The student has to produce evidence in order to earn a grade. Examples of social service activities include: (a) mosques (teaching, cleaning, repairs) (b) social institutions (helping the physically handicapped, visits to the sick in hospitals, teaching or socializing at orphanages), community programs (anti-dadah education activities, general dawah, helping the poor and the elderly, adult education, cleaning graves etc (d) schools (remedial classes or tuition for primary and secondary school pupils in disadvantaged areas, and English language courses) (e) within the university (teaching, cleaning, repairs, nasiihat) (f) media activities (media analyses & critiques, meetings with reporters).

 

5.5 Each student is required to take a leadership/ management module once a semester. Each module requires 3 hours and will consist of an interactive presentation, workshops or small group discussions. The residential college is responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the trainers approved by the training center. The training center provides the training material. Each year of study and each semester has a module. At the completion of all the modules, the student will have acquired the basics of leading and managing an organization. Students who study management and have already covered the modules provided, will be given alternative modules.

 

5.6 The aim of the college sports and physical program is to get every student involved in at least one physical activity. What is needed are participants and not spectators. Competitive events will be held within the college and between colleges. Each college will have its own gym with adequate facilities for use by its members. Other activities can be held at university sports facilities that are shared with other colleges or outside the university as needed. A sports/physical fitness coach shared among adjacent colleges will have schedules that ensure adequate presence in all the colleges

 

5.7 The college provides and schedules regular entertainment and recreational programs that include inter alia: movies, theater & drama, nasyid, poetry reading, international cultural displays, international food festivals, picnics & outings etc

 

DISCIPLINE

6.1 The discipline code has been simplified to fit on one type-written page that can be available all over the hostel to remind students. The following lists the major violations (titles, details not given) which are punished by (a) fine, (b) suspension, or (c) dismissal from the hostel.

 

        VIOLATIONS OF THE AQIDAT AND BASIC TENETS OF ISLAM

 

        VIOLATION OF THE LAW AND CUSTOMS OF THE LAND

 

        VIOLATIONS OF UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS

 

        VIOLATION OF SAFETY, SECURITY, SANITATION, AND PUBLIC HEALTH REGULATIONS

 

        PROHIBITED SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

 

        COMMITTING PROHIBITED ADDICTIVE PRACTICES OR THEIR ANTECEDENTS

 

        COMMITTING SEXUAL SINS OR WHAT LEADS TO THEM

 

        TRANSGRESSION (DHULM/’UDWAAN) ABSENCE FROM OBLIGATORY ACTIVITIES

 

        VIOLATION OF ROOM OCCUPANCY REGULATIONS

 

6.2 The Principal will impose fines for offences that the violator accepts guilt and for which fixed punishments are published. Minor disciplinary cases will be referred to the College Disciplinary Board. Disciplinary cases that require lengthy investigation or that may involve expulsion from the university on conviction will not be dealt with by the College Disciplinary Board but will be referred to the Central University Disciplinary Board.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule December 1997