Archive for the ‘Polytechnic and Vocational Education.’ Category

World-class education a clear priority

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

PETALING JAYA: Allocating a total of RM64.1bil to education – the biggest chunk of the Budget for the second year running – proves that the government is committed to world-class education.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) welcomed the increased allocation from last year’s RM60.2bil.

It also lauded the special attention given to the disabled community and to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

“Our disabled children have been treated as an afterthought for way too long.

More money for maintenance and government-aided schools showed that the government understands the importance of creating a conducive environment for students and teachers.

“Quality teaching and learning can only happen when classrooms are comfortable and safe.

“For some underprivileged students, their only sanctuary is school so if they are happy here, they will perform better, ” he said.

He added that government-aided schools often struggled to pay their utility bills.The union, which has been calling for the improvement of TVET education in the country, was also happy that TVET had gotten the attention it deserved.

Tan said, however, that a clear-cut nationwide TVET policy still needed to be drawn up.

“Funding is one thing, but we still need to look at a single accreditation system that cuts across all industries.

“Now there are several ministries involved in TVET, yet it is still chaotic, ” he said.
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‘Thanks, but RM5.9bil not enough for TVET’

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

PETALING JAYA: The RM5.9bil allocated to Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) is not enough, says the National TVET Movement.In the current economic climate of high inflation and high operational costs the TVET institutes incur, the movement’s vice-chairman Datuk Ahmad Tajudin Jab said the allocation could have been higher.

“In the public sector alone, there are easily 500 training institutes.

“I welcome this year’s budget allocation for TVET but had the TVET system been streamlined under one ministry, this allocation would have been streamlined better and the costs would be cheaper.

“From this Budget given, I hope more focus will be given to encouraging students to take up TVET courses at the school level, ” he added.

“We need to encourage schoolchildren through incentives like this to attract more of them to study TVET, ” he added.

Federation of JPK Accredited Centres (FeMAC) president P. Sailanathan questioned the allocation for private TVET training centres.

FeMAC is an association comprising members who are accredited private TVET training providers.

“The RM50mil allocated to the Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK) is a grant to state skills development centres. Nothing was mentioned for private providers.

“The RM5.9bil allocation for TVET is for public sector skills centres. How much of this will be given to PTPK for student loans?” he asked.

“Who will manage the RM20mil matching grants fund?”

He said the public sector alone could not drive the TVET agenda and it needed the cooperation of the private institutes.

“The Budget for TVET is heavily focused on the public sector and not much is said about the private providers, ” he said.

However, he added that the Malaysian Technical University Network’s move to offer graduate courses from next year for students who graduate from vocational colleges was a good initiative and welcomed the additional RM100 allowance.

Commenting on the RM50mil allocation for PTPK to fund courses by state skills development centres, its general manager and acting chief executive Mohd Fathullah Mustafa said it was a “very good move” by the government to ensure the continuation of TVET activities.

“With this allocation, we will be able to provide grants to the skills development centres.

“This will help industries hire skilled workers according to specific skills, ” he added.

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Polytech urged to continue creating innovative products

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Minister of Education and Innovation Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob  (pic) called on students and lecturers at Polytechnic Kota Kinabalu to continue creating innovative products and thus pioneering the field of innovation in order to gain competitive edge.

“Polytechnic, as one of the nation’s TVET institutions play an important role in fostering a culture of innovation and creativity among students in teaching and learning activities.

“Innovation today has become a new global benchmark and is definitely demanding creative capabilities that are not only new, unique and useful but also serve as a catalyst for community well-being.

“According to the Global Innovation Index Report 2018 and 2019, Malaysia is ranked 35 out of 126 countries. This is a proud achievement because it is not easy to maintain that position for two consecutive years due to tough competition against other countries.

He said this when officiating at the Students’ Innovation Projects Exhibition and Competition (Projek-19) at Rafflesia Hall, Polytechnic Kota Kinabalu here, Tuesday.

His speech was read by Assistant Minister of Education and Innovation Jenifer Lasimbang.

Dr Yusof said such programme is able to inculcate the creative and innovative culture among the students.

“Projex is a platform to encourage everyone in Polytechnic to give and share creative ideas as well as to make their day-to-day tasks more efficient and effective.

“It is also for recognition and appreciation for students who are constantly thinking and designing new products, especially in technical field, which will surely promote Polytechnic’s name at the next international level,” he said.

Projex is a bi-annual programme involving the participation of final semester diploma students from Departments of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Commerce, and Tourism and Hospital.

There were 225 participants’ altogether, involving 60 supervisors from all five academic departments.

Meanwhile, Eksa Smart Recycle Bin was judged the winner with its innovation of garbage bin that were designed to address the problem of irregular waste disposal.

The bin was made of discarded boat fibre. It has two function, to determine the weight and price of the waste.

By: Ottey Peter.

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Getting industry to lead TVET

Sunday, October 6th, 2019
Dr Maszlee Malik presenting the certificate of mandate to Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai (left) at the launch of TVET National Campaign. Looking on are M. Kula Segaran and Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Ghazali Abas (right).

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) continues to remain the government’s focus to drive the nation’s economy.

Sixty per cent of jobs created under the 11th Malaysia Plan are expected to require technical and vocational skills that will increase the skilled human capital base.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the vision for the country’s TVET is clear — to promote it as not just another option, but for students to make it their main choice of education and career.

He said this at the launch of the National TVET Campaign last week after a closed dialogue on TVET empowerment with the industry.

“We are currently setting up a National TVET Coordinating Body as a single enforcement body, which will see TVET programmes managed under one umbrella with one system. We will focus on a financial model to make sure sufficient funds for TVET education, besides working on a shared ownership model to strengthen its certification.”

Maszlee said the ministry had identified seven strategies to shift the role of the industry.

“We need to involve more industries to strengthen dual-training programmes, and at the same time, shift from industry participation towards partnership, before moving towards industry-led TVET.”

On Aug 14, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Empowerment Cabinet Committee (JKKPTVET) was set up as the government’s commitment to strengthen coordination and cooperation between ministries and stakeholders in the TVET system.

JKKPTVET comprised eight ministers, namely human resources, youth and sports, works, rural development, entrepreneur development, agriculture and agro-based industry, domestic trade and consumer affairs and education.

Present were JKKPTVET technical chairman Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai and Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran. Soh said based on surveys, the main issues and challenges for TVET education included community perception, where people saw it as having limited job opportunities.

“TVET providers also operate in silos, resulting in overlapping courses and creating confusion for students and employers.”

“It is the government’s policy to raise the level of skilled workforce to 35 per cent by 2020. To do so, we need to increase TVET student enrolment to 225,000 by 2020.”

The committee has held six townhalls, five workshops and numerous engagements to strategise the way forward for TVET.

“Based on a series of townhalls, engagements and sessions to support the TVET Empowerment Plan, 20 strategies and 15 recommendations have been proposed based on five pillars, namely governance, funding, industry, quality and branding,”

He also said some industry-led TVET collaborations remain as models for cooperation between the ministry and industry.

They are the FMM-Mida-MOE Apprentice programme, PSDC-Penang Free Trade Zone Industries, Langkawi Tourism Academy and Malaysian Association of Hotels collaboration and Malaysian German Chamber of Commerce German Dual Vocational Training Programme.

Maszlee said he hoped that TVET institutions would work together with universities and innovation agencies to introduce new technology to re-map the institutions according to industry demand.

The National TVET campaign, which runs until November, will include the search of TVET Valued Industry Partners (VIP) and TVET Influencers. There will also be a competition for the national TVET logo and slogan.

By Hazlina Aziz

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TVET priority crucial step for future workforce

Friday, October 4th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: To prepare the nation’s workforce of the future, priority towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is a crucial step needed to drive the nation’s economic growth, says Education Minister Mazslee Malik.

“With the rapid pace of technology is evolving workplaces in the modern era, one thing certain is that jobs of the future will be technology-driven which underpins the need for future workers to be equipped with technical skills,” he said.

In his keynote address during his meeting with the Sabah Education Department(JPN), Mazslee underlined the government is committed to improve adoption of technology-based learning and cultivating wider interest among students towards STEM subjects(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

“We need to prepare the younger generation to adopt technology, and encourage more to take up STEM subjects, this builds on efforts to promote TVET as the main choice of education and careers for students.

“When we talk about the revolution of industry, it’s important to prepare a solid foundation and prepare the younger generation for the emergence of new jobs that will exist in the future,” said Mazslee, noting countries like Japan and Singapore already provided their younger generation with a solid footing in facing challenges of future workplaces.

Mazslee pointed the ministry would emphasize on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) from preschool to university levels, highlighting the government is committed to promote TVET and equip students with necessary skills needed to be more competitive in the job market.

Furthermore, he said school students need greater exposure on other professions to give them more choices to plan their future careers. “Young people deserve to be better informed, speakers from more other professions can be invited to give talks in schools,” he added.

For Sabah, the minister said the Ministry’s attention is focused on 707 dilapidated schools that require assistance due to the poor conditions of facilities and infrastructure.

“This year, federal allocation will be channeled in two stages, the first totaling RM10 million for three schools, followed by an injection of RM78 million for 19 schools in the second phase,” he said, adding Chinese schools and Mission schools will continue to receive government financial assistance.

He also noted SMK Peter Mojuntin Secondary School will receive an allocation of RM5.5 million for the construction of a new building. In extending assistance to disabled children in Sabah, he said the government has channeled a sum of RM875,000 for the Special Education Integrated Programme (PPKI).

In his message to teachers, schools and JPN officials, Mazslee called for a united effort to reduce the dropout rate in schools especially in rural and remote areas of the state.

“I think it’s crucial that we work together to ensure that every child gets access to education, increasing participation rate at schools is an important objective,” he said, adding schools will also be opened for undocumented children.

Among those who attended the function include State Education Director Mistirine Radin and Sabah Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yaacob.


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Skilled professionals to help manage TVET programmes

Friday, September 27th, 2019
PETALING JAYA: The Human Resources Ministry plans to get skilled professionals to participate in managing the nation’s TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) programmes. Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic) said this initiative is to ensure graduates produced by TVET institutions meet the needs of the industry. “This is so that they can provide inputs towards the continuous betterment of programmes and courses at the TVET institutes,” he said at the sixth edition of Asian Summit on Education and Skills (ASES) held in Banglore, India on Tuesday (Sept 24). Kulasegaran said the government is also making an effort to increase the percentage of skilled workers from 28% to 35%.

He added that the government is introducing more incentives for workers who want to enrol in TVET courses, including opening up more night classes and have private sectors encourage their employees to take up upskilling courses. ASES was jointly organised by the India Didactics Association with India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, government think tank NITI Ayog, and its Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Ministers and ministerial delegations from over 15 countries took part in the event. The conference was officially inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka and Minister of Higher Education, Information Technology and Bio-Technology, CN Aswath Narayanan.

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Maszlee: Bright future ahead for TVET in Malaysia.

Monday, September 16th, 2019
PETALING JAYA: A bright future lies ahead for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Malaysia, says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

The ministry, he said, is working in tandem with industry players as well as German groups to improve TVET in the country – which is set to be similar to Germany’s TVET structure.

Noting that the ministry had strongly emphasised the advancement of TVET starting this year, Maszlee said that “Germany has given a lot of help and cooperation in helping us boost TVET here, while Malaysian industry players are also now directly involved with us (ministry) to structure TVET education in Malaysia.”

He called on students and the public to not look down on TVET.

“TVET is part of our education system. It isn’t the last resort as many still see it to be. It is a good option and the way forward in the world,” said Maszlee during a visit to the #mydigitalmaker Fair 2019 at MITEC on Sunday (Sept 15).

He also noted that TVET takes up quite a sum in Budget 2019 as well as Budget 2020.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), in a statement, had called on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to make TVET a “national priority”.

“We are so far behind as compared to our neighbours,” said NUTP.

In the statement, NUTP agreed that TVET is the way forward but that its ability to make sure everyone is going the same direction was “questionable”.

“The main grouse by the industry is that they are not getting skilled workers. Government trainers, lecturers and teachers are not getting support to churn out correct people for the industry.

“Almost every government institution is fighting for the same pool of students,” read the statement issued on Sunday (Sept 15).

NUTP added that to keep abreast with the latest developments at the industry level, based on the current model is a “tremendous challenge”.

“Conventional machines must be Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines for our students to be industry-ready but we are unable to do so on a wide scale.”

NUTP added that proficiency of English in the learning of technical subjects is “much to be desired” as the National Occupational Skills Standard (NOSS) is in English.

Maszlee and NUTP were speaking in response to Dr Mahathir’s comments about TVET.

At a press conference after a special Cabinet meeting at Perdana Putra, Putrajaya on Saturday (Sept 14), Dr Mahathir had said in the coming years, there will be more emphasis on skills development as well as TVET.

“TVET will play an important role in realising this vision because it can help increase the skills of our workers. There will be more priority towards TVET in our national budget allocation,” he said.

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More students keen to learn technical and vocational skills

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Kulasegaran (second left) presents certificates to the participants while Ravichandran (centre) and others look on.

KOTA KINABALU: An increasing number of students are keen to acquire technical and vocational skills, said Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran.

Kulasegaran said the enrolment at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions under the ministry had increased from 14,000 last year to 16,000 this year.

He said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had recently announced that the government would prioritize TVET because our country needed a more skilled workforce.

Kulasegaran said he recently officiated an event and came across a critical occupations list.

“The list indicates that 80 per cent of the job of an accountant can be taken over by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“On the other hand, courses with a ready job market are electrical, air-conditioning, chargeman, welding and underwater welding.

“People are showing interest in courses which, in the past, are not desirable,” he said when closing the Mount Kinabalu climb initiative organized by the Global Expedition Club (GEC) and sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resources and others here yesterday.

Kulasegaran said the enrolment at TVET institutions under his ministry had risen as more and more people were keen to acquire skills.

He added that the TVET institutions were opened from 5.30pm to 11pm to allow those already in the workforce to learn technical or vocational skills after working hours.

Meanwhile, Kulasegaran hoped to see an increase in participation for the Mount Kinabalu Climb from 10 this year to 20 next year.

Themed ‘Let’s Inspire the Young Ones’, the Mount Kinabalu Climb was initiated by Kulasegaran for underprivileged youths. The programme is held twice a year, in February and September.

GEC founder Ravichandran Tharumalingam said the minister had scaled the Mount Kinabalu summit with a group of youths in the first climb in February this year.

He said the latest Mount Kinabalu Climb, which was held from September 13 to 14, was participated by 10 youths from the MySkills Foundation, Tanjung Malim.

He said the climb was joined by adults as well to give an opportunity for the young participants to meet with professionals who were successful in life.

However, Ravichandran said the group only managed to reach Laban Rata at 3,300 metres this time due to bad weather and strong winds.

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Taking TVET to the next level

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates are highly sought after and parents and students alike should not shy away from this field.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the employability rate of local polytechnic and community colleges reached a record 96% in 2018.

“(This is) a marked improvement from the year before,” he said during the certificate of collaboration signing ceremony between the Education Ministry and four industry partners on Wednesday.

The industry partners are Berjaya Corporation Berhad, Tropicana Corporation Berhad, Naza Group and Top Glove Corporation Berhad.

Although there has been a rise in employability rates, Maszlee said more needs to be done to attract more students to the TVET sector.

“We have embarked on many efforts to raise the standard of TVET in Malaysia,” he said.

These include the setting up a TVET Empowerment Committee to make TVET the “career of choice” among Malaysians and working with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Skills Development Department (JPK) to create a single quality assurance system for TVET, he said.

“We need to be future-ready and world class,” he said, adding that they also want to be industry-driven like in Germany and China.

He said that the ministry is going to increase the number of TVET programmes and courses on offer.

He added that only 5.6% of students, which is around 22,000, enrolled in TVET programmes in 2018.

“Industry-driven TVET is key because it needs to be the primary choice for students,” he added.

Maszlee said this certificate of collaboration marks the next large step between the public and private sector to “take TVET to the next level.”

“The ministry is committed to establishing more ground-breaking partnerships.

“We are speaking with key companies across all economic sectors,” he said.

During the ceremony, Berjaya Corporation Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Seri Robin Tan Yeong Ching said expanding partnerships such as this should help ensure the sharing of industry knowledge and practices, facilities and technology.

However, it is not enough for students to have the right knowledge related to their field.

“They must also develop soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the right attitude in order to secure jobs and advance in their careers,” he added.

To this end, he said, Berjaya Corporation views this collaboration with the ministry as a “smart partnership” to enable students from polytechnic and community colleges to obtain internships and career opportunities with the corporation.

Naza Group chief strategy officer Azrul Reza Aziz said this collaboration will enable the company to facilitate and provide industry expertise in terms of curriculum development related to the relevant sectors.

Tropicana Corporation Berhad Marketing and Sales and Business Development managing director Ung Lay Tin said: “Tropicana is thrilled to share in this endeavour, sharing our venues as training spaces, opening doors for opportunities for real-world work experience and creating relevant joint training programmes.”

Top Glove Corporation Berhad manufacturing and operations adviser Datuk Dr Andy Seo commended the Government on their initiatives to reduce unemployment rates and provide a better space for highly-skilled local talent.

He also said that the company hopes to recruit at least 1,000 TVET talents, crucial to their expansion plans, next year for jobs in their Malaysian factories.

By Rebecca Rajaendram

NST Leader: TVET – Big room for improvement

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019
(File pix) Only 13 per cent of all upper secondary students are pursuing TVET courses, while merely nine per cent are doing them at polytechnics. Pix by NSTP/Aizuddin Saad

THE world of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is one of paradoxes and other mind bogglers.

Five thousand TVET and science places are waiting to be filled, yet there are no takers. Puzzlingly, too, TVET grad employability is a very high 95 per cent versus tertiary institution grad employability of an average of 80 per cent.

This the parents and students do not know, says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik. Little wonder, only 13 per cent of all upper secondary students are pursuing TVET courses, while merely nine per cent are doing them at polytechnics.

A 2018 report by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) on The School-To-Work Transition of Young Malaysians lends support to the minister’s claim.

The report quotes job seekers as saying TVET to be the most useful qualification for getting a good job. Yet — here comes another mind boggler — TVET is not a popular education pathway. As Maszlee says, there may need to be a deeper analysis. We agree.

Perhaps, the problem may not be in TVET itself, but in everything associated with it. This maze must be untangled. Consider this.

There are more than 1,000 public and private TVET institutions — 565 public institutions under six ministries and 600 private institutions.

This causes a plethora of problems, says the KRI report. One such is a lack of strategic coordination. This should have been to some extent solved by the Malaysia Board of Technologies — a governance and certification body — launched on Nov 17, 2016. But fragmentation continues. The puzzle thickens.

“Low wages” appear to be standing in the way of TVET, too. To Maszlee, this is a perception problem. It may very well be. And can be solved with some generous dose of awareness.

Remuneration is based on TVET skills acquired and as the skills are upgraded along with the experience gained, salary tends to move up.

But there is hope yet. Maszlee says a cabinet-level committee is hard at work consolidating resources as well as synchronising efforts to ensure stronger branding, more effective governance, funding and accreditation structures to make TVET a primary choice for students.

We will hold our horses until the more “sexy” TVET arrives. Part of this reform involves making the TVET industry responsive, according to deputy director-general at the Education Ministry’s Polytechnic and Community College Education Department, Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub.

The idea is, he says, to make supply match demand by way of artificial intelligence and big data. This has been the experience of many European countries. European countries have skewed their skills development policy towards encouraging such a match.

KRI sees competency-based training as critical to TVET reform. This allows for the design of practical, demand-driven courses for industry needs.

Competency-based TVET uses short modular courses geared to market industry demand, enabling students to enter the market with a defined set of skills.

By New Straits Times.

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