Archive for the ‘Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)’ Category

Special needs TVET students’ return

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

PREPARATIONS are underway to welcome polytechnic and community college special needs students back on campus after face-to-face studies were abruptly disrupted more than two months ago by the move to control the Covid-19 contagion.

This follows the announcement by the Higher Education Ministry that students under the category participating in the education programmes and Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) at polytechnics and community colleges are among those allowed to resume their studies on-campus in August.

Polytechnic and Community College Education Department curriculum development division director Noor Aidi Nadzri said the group of special needs students face challenges while learning online.

“Students with special needs in the polytechnics and community colleges under the purview of the Higher Education Ministry are students with either hearing or learning disabilities. This group of special needs students need to undergo face-to-face learning due to the ineffectiveness of virtual learning to address their special needs.

Noor Aidi Nadzri.Noor Aidi Nadzri.

“With face-to-face learning, lecturers with special training in sign language or in addressing learning disabilities will be able to teach more effectively versus virtual learning.”

There are 197 students with special needs studying at 17 polytechnics and college communities around the country.

These include those enrolled in programmes like Skills Certificate in Fashion Design and Clothing at Sultan Ibrahim Polytechnic in Johor Baru, Skills Certificate in Civil Engineering (Construction) at Ungku Omar Polytechnic in Ipoh, Certificate in Culinary Arts at Kolej Komuniti Selayang in Selangor, and Certificate in Landscaping at Kolej Komuniti Masjid Tanah in Melaka.

Noor Aidi said prior to returning to campus for the new semester, high-risk students, such as those with heart disease or are asthmatic, should obtain a health confirmation letter from a medical professional allowing them to return to campus while students with low risk are subject to health screening procedures as issued by the Health Ministry.

Special needs students require face-to-face training. Picture taken prior to the Movement Control Order.
Special needs students require face-to-face training. Picture taken prior to the Movement Control Order.

“Both categories of students need to bring along a letter of authorisation from their parent or guardian that allows them to return to campus to continue their education. For high-risk students who do not have any health confirmation letter or certificate, it is advisable not to return to campus and instead, they should postpone their studies to the following semester.”

For students who would be residing on campus, strict adherence to the standard operating procedures on social distancing and personal hygiene as issued by the National Security Council must be observed.

“Students who need to be outside the area should notify the officer in charge or the designated student representative. They need to provide details of their movement information, such as the date, time and purpose. They will be advised to use face masks while outdoors. Upon their return, their body temperature and physical condition need to be checked to make sure they don’t have fever or any other Covid-19 symptoms.”

By Rozana Sani.

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Online way to boost stem education

Sunday, May 24th, 2020
Students who can access online learning platforms will have a new window into STEM learning. -NSTP File picStudents who can access online learning platforms will have a new window into STEM learning. -NSTP File pic

THE coronavirus may have forced Malaysia’s schools to temporarily close, but when they reopen, science and technology learning will be firmly back on the government’s education agenda with the nation’s future set to be defined by STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The National Council for Scientific and Research Development reported in 2018 that Malaysia would need 500,000 scientists and engineers by this year to cope with the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, at that point, it had only 70,000 registered engineers.

Exacerbating that problem is a shortage of students taking up STEM subjects at university. The government is trying to boost STEM education through its Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 that seeks an enhanced curriculum, the testing and training of teachers, and the use of blended learning models.

However, as a young country in which the average age is around 30, and with Internet penetration now as high as 82 per cent, Malaysia may have an ace up its sleeve as it seeks to bolster STEM learning in schools.

Of course, there’s no substitute for face-to-face teaching, but where schools, whether through lack of staff or resources, struggle to teach a full range of subjects such as Computer Science or Advanced Mathematics, they can look to online learning platforms to connect students to teachers around the world offering these subjects in virtual classrooms.

By leveraging cloud-based classrooms, supported by staff on the ground in schools, it is possible for Malaysia to move quickly to widen access to internationally recognised, high-quality education.

Online tools can also provide the opportunity for Malaysian schools to introduce blended learning.

These platforms, which provide teachers with entire subject courses broken down into individual lessons they can plan out, allow them to set tasks and track pupils’ progress online.

Even when a school has fully- trained teachers across all STEM subjects, using online tools to flip classrooms greatly reduces the time teachers need to spend on course preparation, marking and reporting, freeing them up to focus on teaching in the classroom and guiding the learning experience for students.

For students, this means more face-to-face time with their teachers in class, and with many learning activities done online, it means more time in school to collaborate with their peers, all of which helps increase engagement by bringing complex STEM subjects to life.

While Internet access is still not even throughout the country and with schools turning to online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, this will only further underscore the need to close the digital divide.

The capacity of online learning to boost STEM education from an early age can play a key role in preparing the next generation of Malaysians for the rapidly-changing job market they will face.

Students who can access online learning platforms will not only have a new window into STEM learning, but also gain practical experience of collaborative, digital technologies that promote self-direction and independence in learning.

All around the world, artificial intelligence and automation are transforming the job market and rendering many of the jobs we know obsolete, while creating new jobs that could not have been imagined before.

If Malaysia’s students are to gain the skills to not only survive, but thrive in tomorrow’s world of work, they cannot afford to lose another minute.

Every day they are not receiving STEM education is a day they will never get back.

Online learning can be a powerful ally for Malaysia’s brilliant young minds as they stand ready to face a world that has just been turned upside down right at the beginning of what could have been, and still can be, a brave new decade.

By Darren Jensen.

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Conquering challenging changes

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

SKILLS training institutes are taking the changes brought on by the movement control order (MCO) in their stride.

These changes, however, come with their own set of challenges.

For many, the headache is how they will cover a large chunk of their syllabus which comprises mainly of practical, hands-on training.

Some technical and vocational education and training (TVET) worry about keeping their colleges afloat amid the MCO but are trying their best to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

No time to waste

Even before the JPK guidelines were issued, Keningau Vocational College, Sabah lecturer Niel Solimin has been doing video tutorials.

The vehicle transmission system lecturer did not want to waste time by delaying the migration from physical classrooms to the virtual platform.

“I give them simple skills-based practice which they can do on their own vehicles using tools they have at home.

“I add materials to my videos from YouTube and Google which I find are helpful for the students, ” he said, adding that he then shares the video links in his class Whatsapp group chat.

Among the video tutorials he’s shared include lessons on how to open and install a car’s front wheel drive shaft. Most of his students, Solimin said, work on their parents’ car to perfect their skills.

“So far, it hasn’t been difficult for them to keep up with their lessons because they can refer to the recorded videos.”

Digital training

Moving their lessons online wasn’t hard for E-Access International College (EAIC) as the skills training institute was preparing to conduct e-learning classes since last year as part of its digital transformation plans for 2020.

So, EAIC lecturers were ready when the closure of all educational institutions, and the Human Resources Ministry department of skills development’s (JPK) guideline on conducting online training and learning, were suddenly announced.

Chief operating officer Chue Wai Sum said lecturers had prepared teaching materials before the MCO was announced.

“We contacted our students soon after the announcement to start their online lessons.

“Initially, it was hard to gauge how much material we needed to prepare because we did not expect the MCO to be extended.

“But we are using this period as our opportunity to transform digitally.

The good and bad: Mosinoh said online learning and training has its limitations and disadvantages.

The good and bad: Mosinoh said online learning and training has its limitations and disadvantages.

“Before this, we hesitated as many of our students did not have access to devices, and also because the syllabus is such that 70% of it requires practical training.”

To help her students from the B40 community, Chue got them smartphones so that they could communicate with their lecturers and access the online content.

Some notes, she said, are sent to students via Whatsapp.

Video tutorials are uploaded on the college’s website, demonstrating practical training such as how to dismantle machines and vehicles.

Additional classes will be given to students once the MCO is over, she added.

Thinking about the financial effects of the closure of her college has Chue worried as no enrolments mean zero income.

She, however, is adament about focusing on the positive.

She is determined to continue providing her students with online lessons for the theory portion of the syllabus, and short videos for the practical aspects.

“We can’t achieve 100% online attendance because of problems like students having devices but no WiFi connection or mobile data to support their learning.

“At the moment, the participation rate is less than 60% but our lecturers are trying their best.”

The future is now

The closure of educational institutions is no excuse to not continue students’ learning and training, Geomatika Skill Institute chief operating officer Mazmadi Mohamad said.

E-learning is not difficult if both students and lecturers are willing to cooperate with each other.

“Students have paid for their fees and we can’t just allow them to be at home and not continue their education.

“We must start somewhere so we are teaching them the theory aspects first, which take up 30% of their syllabus.

“Once that is done, we will do the practical aspects via video.

Using tech: Chue said e-learning plans were part of her college’s digital transformation plans for 2020.Using tech: Chue said e-learning plans were part of her college’s digital transformation plans for 2020.

“It is not hard because for automotive lessons for example, most students have either cars or motorcycles at home which they can use for their practical lessson.”

Likewise, for cooking, sewing and welding, lecturers can demonstrate to students through video tutorials.

E-learning is the future, he said, adding that the skills training sector is currently bogged down by too many restrictive rules such as the one lecturer per 25 students in class requirement.

With e-learning, there is no such regulation, he said.

“We can teach as many students as we want.

“This helps skills training institutes and providers reduce their operational costs, ” he added.

As we face the fourth industrial revolution, Mazmadi said alternative teaching and learning tools aremore important than ever.

A learning curve

Still adjusting to her online lessons, a student who only wants to be known as Azrina, is finding it tough to find her footing.

The graphic design student from Meatech College, Kajang, said the conversation between students and lecturers are limited.

“It is hard for those of us who don’t have a strong Internet connection at home as it can get very stressful so I prefer face-to-face learning because when I submit my assignments, the lecturers are able to provide instant feedback while checking my work on the spot, ” she said.

The environment at home is also not conducive for online learning, the fourth of five siblings said.

While her lecturer shares design ideas through Whatsapp, she’s not used to that method of learning.

“We are now doing our final project which comprises many tasks; it is hard to do it without our lecturers beside us as we can only connect virtually.”

Similarly, Nuqman Irfan Mazli prefers face-to-face lectures.

The 20-year-old graphic design student is finding online lessons difficult as he is not used to it.

“My lectures give us assignments online. I do what I know and skip the parts I’m unsure of.

“I’m not used to it because unlike physical classes, I don’t have my lecturers or friends present to brainstorm ideas with them. “We just message each other.”

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New TVET guideline

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

ALL theory and practical components of TVET can be conducted online if they meet the Performance Criteria and Assessment Criteria, Human Resources Ministry department of skills development (JPK) director-general Zaihan Shukri said.

These criteria which are listed in a guideline, he said, involve safety, attitude and application of equipment aspects as set out in the National Occupational Skills Standards.

Home-based skills teaching and training must:

> ensure that the teaching and learning processes are carried out as planned in a safe environment.

> be effectively implemented during the MCO period by the institutes’ management.

> be a collaborative effort between parents or guardians and the institutes to ensure the continuity of students’ training and learning despite them not attending classes.

> be conducted on the training institutes’ premises after the MCO, if it is not carried out via e-learning.

> involve appropriate learning methods based on the capabilities and readiness of the trainees; using easily accessible communication and application platforms.

The guideline was issued to public and private skills training institutes on April 13.

In early April, The Star reported that a TVET action committee representing private skills training institutions, had handed a proposal to the government with 10 suggestions to cushion the impact of Covid-19.

It had urged the government to allocate interest-free loans amounting to RM3bil to assist those badly affected by the pandemic.

The committee also appealed for the immediate implementation of online teaching and learning through platforms like Google Classroom and Telegram.

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Erase negative perceptions towards TVET

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

NEGATIVE perceptions towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) must stop. Erase those thoughts.

TVET should be seen as a great opportunity for our future generation to become successful in life.

It is sad to know that some, including parents, still see TVET as a path only for those who are not ‘very bright’, don’t have sufficient academic qualifications or don’t have academic interest.

All these misconceptions have resulted in many families forcing their children to study hard and apply for conventional varsity courses.

Times have changed. In today’s world, many jobs require individuals to have special skills and training which can be acquired by enrolling in TVET programmes.

TVET includes formal and informal learning that prepares young people with the knowledge and skills required in the working world.

According to the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco), TVET has been called by many names over the years – apprenticeship training, vocational education, technical education, technical-vocational education, occupational education and others.

Regardless of what it’s called, one common feature, according to Unesco, is that TVET, in addition to general education, is the study of technologies and related sciences as well as the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding, and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economics and social life.

TVET education can take place at post-secondary education, higher education levels and together with the apprenticeship system.

At the post-secondary level, TVET education is often provided by highly specialised trade schools, technical schools, community colleges, colleges of further education, as well as institutes of technology.

There are numerous vocational education centres in the country including vocational schools (high schools to train skilled students), technical schools (high schools to train future engineers, for example) and vocational colleges, all of them under the Education Ministry.

Then there are polytechnics and community colleges under the Higher Education Ministry and the National Youth Skills Institutes under the Youth and Sports Ministry.

The first vocational institute in Malaysia is the Industrial Training Institute of Kuala Lumpur established in 1964 under the Human Resources Ministry’s manpower department.

TVET courses and classes are specifically designed to prepare students for steady jobs in manufacturing, business, creative fields, computer networking, agricultural and farming industries and more.

Candidates who have certified vocational skills and training can also easily find work in various job sectors in the country which are now searching for workers with such skills.

Getting a TVET education will give more room and opportunity to our youth to get jobs and create jobs in the country, which will stop our reliance on foreign workers.

Many job sectors in our country can be filled by local workers especially in the agricultural sector, construction and farming.

Having more jobs for our people will eventually bring down unemployment numbers and the migration of local talents to other countries.

The government must be serious about TVET education.

A bigger budget should be allocated to strengthen its curriculum along with its existing centres and institutions.

Our students and younger generation should be exposed at an early age to the benefits of a TVET education instead of focusing only on conventional courses offered by universities.

The Education Act 1996 (Act 550) should also be amended to make vocational schools and colleges an important part of the country’s education system.

By changing our perception towards TVET as well as giving it our continuous support to the sector, we can increase the number of youth taking it up.

This will create more skillful people, and bring progress and development to our country.

by Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow.

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TVET a viable choice for building great future careers

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

A group of happy students after obtaining their excellent results of Certificate of Education Malaysia (SPM) 2019. Photo: Bernama

SPM graduates should know how TVET can increase their employability and help them on a path to professional achievement

The most recent crop of graduating students from the 2019 SPM exams, performing better than those of the previous year, with the national average grade (GPN) recorded at 4.86 for 2019, compared with 4.89 in 2018, shows that Malaysian students are excelling in terms of education and knowledge acquisition.

Currently, a total of 389,498 candidates who had sat for and passed their SPM 2019 exams are now beginning to determine their professional destiny, including careful planning on how and where to continue their studies.

Some universities and fields are now on their to-do list, with the goal of pursuing a successful career after graduation.

Many will encourage SPM postgraduate students to take Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) as TVET can provide the foundational skills for a broad range of career choices in the job market in the future.

SPM postgraduates are also encouraged to take Technical and Vocational Training Education (TVET).

Students should not disregard TVET as an option because the skills acquired in the many disciplines in TVET offers and opens up many job opportunities, thus making them the hottest graduates in the market.

In line with the Government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, TVET is one of the enabling forces that contributes to the development of a prosperous and inclusive nation.

Raising productivity levels

The German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) produces graduates with high marketability.

TVET educational institutions such as the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) offer technical training that can produce graduates with high marketability.

The managing director of the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI), Prof Ir Dr Azmi Hassan, said that since its establishment in 1992, the institution has now introduced more than 10 TVET-related programs based on German technology, particularly in mechanical and electrical disciplines and fields.

“SPM graduates have many opportunities to continue their studies at GMI. To date, GMI has produced more than 12,000 graduates in these fields.

“GMI is also offering a preparatory program to help graduates further their studies at German universities. GMI has sent over 1,200 students through the program over the last 10 years.

“Hence, we offer an industry-relevant program called the German Dual Vocational Training (GDVT), in which we work with industry professionals, especially German companies in Malaysia,” he said in a recent interview with mStar.

Azmi said the concept of GDVT focuses on 70 per cent practical training in the industry and 30 per cent is theory learning at the institution.

In addition to the credibility of co-curriculars adapted from Germany, Azmi said the machinery and equipment provided at GMI are industry-appropriate.

“It makes it easier and faster for graduates to adapt to the professional environment. The industry does not need to retrain and graduates are ready to meet the industry’s expectations.

“Thus, they help companies increase productivity quickly. This is because delivery time is very important in the industry,”he said.

Azmi sees challenges in the growth and evolution of TVET but explains that there are optimum solutions for keeping the program relevant.

“We see from the current trend of GMI graduates and diplomas, that they subsequently opt to pursue higher education.

“Perhaps one of the reasons is that the number of technicians is relatively low in the industry. So the challenge is that if the pay is fair or has a better value, I think they will continue to enter the labour market.

“Therefore, I recommend that the payroll rate for technically-skilled graduates be increased. And if we are able to work closely with institutions and industry, it will be an opportunity for students to be in the industry early, ” he said.

Through the involvement of the local workforce, he said, this would reduce Malaysia’s dependence on foreign workers.

The managing director of the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI), Prof Ir Dr Azmi Hassan. Photo by ART CHEN/ The Star

Additionally, he explained that well-educated local students could face the challenges of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (Industry 4.0).

“Their skills will improve the technology and help the integration of new technologies in the industry, and productivity will increase rapidly,” he said.

Industry market demand and boosting the labour market

Meanwhile, the president of the Malaysia Automation Technology Association (MATA), Tiong Khe Hock, said the M&E field contributed greatly to the country’s economy, and is important to industry, especially the manufacturing sector.

“Malaysian companies are moving towards Industry 4.0, as they rely heavily on the support of machinery and equipment to reduce manpower,” he said, adding that the M&E field is among the nine major sub-sectors under the Nexus Productivity initiative mandated under the Government’s Malaysian Productivity Blueprint (MPB)

The talented young generation helps companies grow productivity faster.

On TVET, Tiong said there was a demand from industries, but there were difficulties in terms of skilled supply.

“Many MNCs are having difficulty filling some of their skilled positions involving machinery and equipment, such as technicians.

“With the initiative through Nexus Productivity, collaboration between government agencies and industry associations can be enhanced,” said Khe Hock, who also serves as the Working Group Leader: Talent and Labor in the Nexus Machinery and Equipment Productivity initiative.

According to him, the group is partnering with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to develop the Industrial Skills Framework for the M&E sub-sector.

The president of the Malaysia Automation Technology Association (MATA), Tiong Khe Hock. Photo by ART CHEN/ The Star

Meanwhile, Tiong said industry players had given feedback that because they have little choice but to train workers including university graduates, a pilot program would help industry players greatly with this challenging part of integrating graduates into their workforce.

“If we have trained and experienced pioneer graduates, the time for training will be reduced. This pilot program is where they study and work with companies at the same time.

“I see a lot of potential especially in the M&E industry that requires more workforce. Many skills are needed in dealing with Industry 4.0 such as mechatronic, automotive and robotics.

“I feel there is a great demand among young people to make this a career choice,” he said, as he is also serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Machinery and Engineering Industries Federation (MEIF) which has a network of nearly 6,000 companies in the M&E industry.

There is a great demand among young people to turn their industry-ready skills into a successful career.

Although the cost of hiring foreign workers is lower, he said, companies need to recognise that productivity is a priority.

“If companies hire more skilled local workers, I think they can raise productivity and help boost the technically-skilled labour market.

“In fact, in terms of career development, we also see local workers have the opportunity to become engineers and managers in the future.

“With the passage of time, additional experience and education gives them many opportunities to grow to higher levels,” he said.

TVET: Highly skilled and industry ready

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Technical and vocational training and education (TVET) is a dedicated route to develop secondary school leavers into a highly skilled and future-ready workforce.

It is a misconception to think that TVET is only for the academically weak or those with low career prospects. In reality, TVET graduates have a high rate of employability that commands an attractive salary.

Based on the 11th Malaysia Plan, there is a target to increase skilled workers from 28 per cent to 35 per cent, and 60 per cent of future jobs are expected to require technical and vocational skills.

With options from marine engineering to hospitality and beauty services, students can earn the Malaysian Skills Certification System through assessment and training.

The system starts with the Malaysian Skills Certificate (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia or SKM Levels 1 to 3), followed by the Diploma in Skills Malaysia (Diploma Kemahiran Malaysia, or DKM) and Advanced Diploma in Skills Malaysia (DLKM).

Students can pursue professional licences, international competency examinations or obtain a bachelor’s degree at four universities under the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN).

TVET programmes are offered by the Education Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara).

Students can apply via the Central University Admission Unit to enrol in polytechnics and community colleges.

There are three types of polytechnics, namely premier (a route to degree), conventional (based on regional and national needs) and METro (services industry).

The new Malaysian Polytechnic Diploma Curriculum equips students with vital competencies to meet local and global demand.

Industry 4.0-related tools, namely cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous robotics, system integration, cloud-computing and data analytics are introduced in the engineering, technology, hospitality and business courses.

The Youth and Sports Ministry offers TVET programmes at its 22 National Youth Skills Institutes (IKBN) and National Advanced Youth Vocational Institutes nationwide.

Vocational training officer Muhd Mahzuz ‘Afif Mahayuddin said: “Based on the National Policy on Industry 4.0, the country requires more independent and highly-skilled workers, who will increase the nation’s productivity.”

The programmes include aircraft maintenance, automotive technology and textile technology, which run between 18 and 36 months.

“Perseverance and continuous upskilling can take you to higher professional levels, such as being certified by the Malaysia Board of Technologists,” said Mahzuz, who is attached to IKBN Pekan in Pahang.

Mara offers certificate and diploma programmes in 12 clusters of its Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara (KKTM), Mara-Japan Industrial Institute and Mara Skills Institutes.

To continue to a degree, students can enrol in Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) — Mara’s entrepreneurial technical university.

Besides government institutes, there are also private and industry-led TVET programmes, such as the Auto Global Manufacturing Skill Programme (AGMSP) by New Hoong Fatt Holdings Bhd.

NHF managing director Chin Jit Sin said: “It is a fully sponsored apprenticeship programme, preparing students with theoretical learning and technical experience for entry into the Malaysian Meister Programme (MMP) or to become a manufacturing specialist.”


TVET graduates have good career opportunities locally and abroad.

Having excelled in his aircraft composite repair certificate (SKM Level 3) at IKBN Pekan, Anwar Mohamad, 21, is working as a junior aircraft technician at a multinational company.

“Since I’m more inclined towards technical skills than academics, my parents encouraged me to enter IKBN.

“This course is great for those interested in the aviation industry as I was trained in aircraft repair, air legislation and flight theories.

“After the internship, I was hired as a staff member. Soon after, I was given the opportunity to attend an Airbus A350 radome repair course at the Airbus Training Centre in Blagnac, Toulouse, France, for 10 days.”

Muhammad Shabil Ikhwan Shahar, 26, completed SKM Level 3 in gas pipeline fabrication at IKBN Pekan before becoming a non-destructive testing (NDT) specialist

In reality, TVET graduates have a high rate of employability that commands an attractive salary. -NSTP/File pic

“I chose this programme because of the worldwide career prospect. The course introduced me to advanced NDT technologies, preparing me for the industry.”

Funded by his company, he obtained his professional licences at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in Sheffield, the United Kingdom.

“I attained the Personnel Certification in NDT (PCN) Level 2 in phased array ultrasonic testing, full ultrasonic testing and penetrant testing.”

Sabah Tourism Management diploma student Shawn Esquerra, 19, applied to enter Polytechnic Tawau due to his interest in tourism.

“The polytechnic provides me with training and knowledge in the real industry.

“I’m sure that I’m on the right path to gain the right skills to build a career in tourism.

“After obtaining my diploma, I hope to pursue my degree in the same field and study abroad.”

MMP in mechatronics for manufacturing student Muhammad Raziq Ahmad Mukromin, 22, said: “While the programme has academic components, it is focused on technical skills. I learnt about programmable logic controller automation, electrical motor control and many more high technology subjects. I also gained soft skills in communication and teamwork.

“Through AGMSP and MMP, I can earn a salary while increasing my knowledge and technical abilities.

“I see it as an opportunity to continue my studies and directly put it into practice. It also lifted the burden of supporting me from my parents’ shoulders.”

Wan Shamimi Wan Ismail, 23, completed a diploma in architecture at KKTM Pasir Mas, Kelantan, before pursuing a degree at UniKL.

“The diploma programme focused on academic theories and exposed us to hands-on skills, such as drawing and technical work. Mara also helps students financially with a monthly allowance.”

By Rayyan Rafidi.

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More TVET opportunities with YSD skill programme

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
A group picture of bursary recipients under the skill enrichment programme.

YAYASAN Sime Darby aims to create more Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) opportunities for youths through a new initiative called the YSD Skill Enrichment Programme.

In line with the national aspiration to equip youths with employable skills that meet labour market demands, the programme is set to benefit 400 youths annually as compared to 35 under YSD’s previous annual allocation for TVET bursaries — with focus on assisting those from underprivileged and marginalised backgrounds.

YSD chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said the programme will see the organisation working with four strategic partners: the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education under the Ministry of Education (MOE), Sime Darby Industrial Academy, Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare College, and KRU Academy.

“This is to provide more scholars with technical skills and assist with job placements upon the completion of their training courses,” he said in his welcoming address at the launch of the programme held in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Through YSD’s collaborations with its TVET partners, the fields of vocational study opportunities offered under the programme are broadened to support more Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and creative arts courses.

Tunku Imran added that it was reported that currently, almost 90 per cent of TVET graduates have been able to get a job after graduation. With the support of the foundation’s TVET partners, YSD intends to push the number higher.

The event also saw YSD hosting its annual Scholarship Award Ceremony with the foundation awarding over RM21 million worth of various scholarships and bursaries to 584 deserving individuals, a majority of which are from underprivileged households.

Among others, 264 vocationally inclined students received a total of RM6.61 million for the skill enrichment category to pursue diploma in engineering, diploma in architecture, diploma in quantity surveying, professional certificate in 3D animation, diploma in nursing and medical assistant under MOE’s Polytechnic and Community College Department, KRU Academy, Sime Darby Industrial Aacademy and Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare College.

Under YSD Special Needs Bursary Programme (undergraduate and diploma bursaries for persons with disabilities), 29 recipients received more than RM1.04 million.

The YSD Special Support Bursary programme (undergraduate and diploma bursaries for students with monthly household income of RM4,000 and below) saw 216 recipients with bursaries worth RM7.56 million.

39 students with outstanding academic achievement and strong leadership qualities were awarded excellence scholarships worth RM4.75 million to pursue pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate studies at universities in Malaysia, United Kingdom and China.

YSD also celebrated individuals with compelling stories who have weathered many challenges to beat the odds. Among them was TVET scholar Muhammad Afiq Aminuddin, who was awarded the YSD Role Model Award 2020.

Afiq, 29, who hailed from a single-parent B40 household in Penang completed his Certificate in Heavy Equipment from Sime Darby Industrial Academy in 2011. He worked at Sime Darby Industrial – Tractors Malaysia as a mechanic and electrician in heavy equipment maintenance and is now an accomplished field mechanic for Baker Hughes, an international energy technology company.

Muhammad Firdaus Abu Hassan, 29, the recipient of YSD Inspirational Award 2020, has proven that success is not beyond reach despite disability and poverty. Being completely blind since the age of 14, he remained ambitious and tenacious in chasing his goals.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology & Sociology, and then a Master of Professional Counselling, both with flying colours. His life story was documented and analysed in a postgraduate study to understand the development of resilience in the underprivileged.

Education has been the main thrust of YSD since its inception in 1982 to offer wisdom, expertise and assistance at all levels of education to promote and advance what people believe they can achieve, especially the underprivileged.

By Rozana Sani.

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TVET big data on the way

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

A TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) big data system is being planned.

All eight ministries in the national-level TVET Empowerment Committee will be involved in developing the database that will include information on industry demands. This will allow for job projections and the identification of critical fields that need attention.

Also known as JKKPTVET by its Malay acronym, the committee is headed by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik to strengthen and promote TVET on par with other professional fields.

JKKPTVET was established following the approval of Cabinet on Aug 14 and comprises the Human Resources Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, Works Ministry, Rural Development Ministry, Entrepreneur Development Ministry, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.

On Nov 26, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking was appointed to represent the ministry in the committee.

TVET promotion campaigns that include logo design competitions, a search for influencers and recognition for TVET VIPs are being carried out, the Education Ministry said in a statement on Nov 27.

TVET Expos and industry dialogues have also been organised, attracting close to 5,000 participants.

Maszlee said initiatives by the committee would determine the country’s future. By ensuring flawless implementation, the success of the Malaysian TVET system can be an example to other countries, he said.

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Vocational offerings for jobs of the future

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019
Australia Education Minister Dan Tehan (fourth from left) with Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski (third from left) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Professor Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor (fifth from left) at the UKM Global Talk Series at the university in Bangi. – NSTP/Saifullizan Tamadi

AUSTRALIA aims to provide study opportunities across many fields that includes mainstreaming vocational education skills at higher education level, said Dan Tehan in his keynote address at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) during his official visit to Malaysia recently.

Titled “Working together for success in international education”, his address was delivered at the UKM’s 12th Global Talk Series.

Tehan said: “We are looking into enabling students to move between the two education systems because jobs of the future will require multiple skills.

“Jobs of the 21st century don’t only call for the ones you learn in higher education but in some instances, you also need vocational skills and vice versa.

“So, we have to make sure that our higher education system and vocational education system will give you those offerings.”

With the industrial and business changes happening in Industry 4.0, Tehan said that there has been a shift in the desired skill set.

“We need students who have flexibility in their skills and a jack-of-all-trades approach to adapt to the changing circumstances that the fluid global economy will present globally.

“We still need specialists but we don’t want everyone to be a specialist. There is a need for graduates who have a broader set of skills.”

According to Tehan, Australia has conducted a review of its national qualification framework in which the ability to earn tertiary credits in secondary school is an interesting development in the framework.

“Through secondary education, students will be able to start getting units for their higher education and vocational education.

“Rather than having a secondary schooling system that is distinct from your tertiary education, we want to ensure a seamless flow between our secondary education and tertiary education system.”

Australia Education Minister Dan Tehan speaks to reporters during an interview in Kuala Lumpur. – NSTP/Nurul Shafina Jemenon.

A challenge that Australia is facing is to ensure that it continues to produce students that can fill the skills gap, said Tehan.

“For us, those gaps include providing workers for our disability sector, child care sector and aged care sector.

“In the technology field, we make sure that we have STEM students who can then work in areas like cyber-security or information technology,” he said, adding that Malaysia is also facing similar issues.

Australia is exploring different types of education providers to reduce the skill shortage.

“We are looking into public and private universities, national institutions or institutions that just work with particular communities to deliver the type of skills that students will need to work in the local economy.”

Australia will also continue upholding universities’ autonomy, he added.

“To ensure that our universities have the freedom of speech and freedom of academic inquiry, our former Chief Justice has put some model codes in place.

“We want universities to be places where people can inquire about any subject matter and freely express their ideas. Their ideas can be developed into research that will benefit not only the nation, but the globe.

“Another key component is getting industries and businesses to work more collaboratively with our higher education providers. I know that UKM also continues to explore this.”

The event was attended by Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski, UKM vice-chancellor Professor Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, UKM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Marzuki Mustafa, UKM staff, students and the public.

By Rayyan Rafidi.

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