(continues from Part 1)
How research can straighten up an academician? I will answer this in point forms for two reasons; easy reading and because I am very tired due to a long day.
1. Research is about avoiding and/or against contradiction. In other words, research is about upholding principles no matter how minuscule or colossal. Is not this what we do in research? Things must conserve; mass, momentum and energy. Seeing research as a form of exercise or training, this can therefore mold an academician into a man of words and man of principles. So, if we see an academician being a hypocrite, we can say that he or she does not carry out enough research. If we are witnessing academicians contradicting even himself and worst ,those who does not even notice all contradictions around him or her, we can say that he or she was not properly trained in research. Huh, how about that?
2. Research measures the smartness of an academician. We all agree that to be an academician or a lecturer or a professor, one must be smart right? Its ‘wajib’ right? If not we are not being ‘amanah’ right? I believe that, it is sinful for not being smart when one accepts the ‘amanah’ to become a teacher. But how can we know whether we are smart enough? The smartness of an academician is usually and many time solely assessed by his or he research outputs in the forms of technical writings, famously known as Journal’s articles. This is because, for every submitted paper, it will be assessed by a panel of worldly recognized experts and only if the paper is smart enough, it can be accepted. Therefore, the acceptance of a paper is also the recognition of the smartness of the authors; the academician. Is this for self-pride? You can if you want to, but as a Muslim, it would be better for us to use this for ‘muhasabah diri’; in answering to ourselves whether we have fulfilled the ‘amanah’ bestowed upon us by Allah swt, or not.
3. Research can make us good teachers. Many times I heard the statement “I do not want to do research, I only want to teach”. Bro and bri, you can be a good teacher only if you are filled with knowledge, ideas, notions, understanding which all increases if you keep doing research. It is just logic that you are a better teacher if you do research as compared to if you do not. Come on, this is not school where the syllabus does not change drastically, this is university; aren’t we supposed to be dynamic and vibrant?
4. Research makes you more sensitive and better decision maker. Is not research about observing changes, tracing patterns and identifying courses and effects which then lead us to make conclusions. If we keep doing this, we exercise ourselves and the most, our brain to be sensitive towards our surrounding and be critical in weighing what is right and what i wrong, a researcher tend to make more accurate and relevant decisions, not only in his or her works but also in life-related matters as compared to those not doing research. It is my conjecture that the idle state of research activities for the past 50 years in Malaysian universities what produces those men who now we called professors but who keep making irrelevant policies and decisions thus seem to be detached from realities.
1. What went wrong? Why many of us do not realize these earlier? Do not many of us have PhD? Or is it only me that thinks the above are true?
2. Say that the above are true, why we need to straighten up our academician? Are we, the academicians really that important? Is it true that a perfectly straight academician can do great things for the ummah and nation? How great is great?
3. Say that the above are true and we also agree that there is a pressing need to straighten up our academicians; now the question is how to do that? Should we make coup d'état? Or should we make underground movement? Should we form a political party to make our voice heard? How?
4. And many more questions that only make those who are straighten up a bit, people like me trapped in deep hole of anxiety or in the words of Dr. Ben, in the sate of “kegelisahan yang diperlukan”.
Wallahhualam. THE END