Archive for the ‘Polytechnic and Vocational Education.’ Category

Tvet, a viable pathway

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
(File pix) Mohd Hazzerwan Mohd Hazzlee is collaborating with big names in fashion.

For many students, tertiary education is the ticket to good jobs, opening up opportunities to be successful in life.

Parents, teachers and society in general have ingrained this in children from a young age.

To graduate with a degree, students spend years learning in class which may leave them little time for internships to gain experience at the workplace. But in today’s competitive job market, practical experience is the number one quality employers look for in hires.

Although tertiary education has always been the top choice for many students, technical and vocational education and training (Tvet) offers a compelling career path especially for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) school-leavers.

Tvet graduate Mohd Hazzerwan Mohd Hazzlee, co-founder and creative director of Wan & Mary, said a vocational college education has helped him to realise his dream. The collection consists of arts and cultural elements which mix high fashion with street fashion to meet current trends.

The Diploma in Fashion Design graduate from Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara Rembau (KKTMR) said: “I rejected offers of different courses from top public and private universities because I wanted to pursue something that I love—fashion and art.”

Mohd Hazzerwan later pursued the Degree in Fashion design course at Heriot Watt university of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

“At first I was a bit hesitant to apply for the fashion course at KKTMR as the institution was new then and was taking in its first batch of students. But I am glad I took a chance.

“I had the most amazing experience at KKTMR. until now, the lecturers have been supportive as it is not easy being in the fashion industry.”

Having recently won a prize of RM100,000 in Gen F (generasi Fesyen), a programme for budding fashion designers, Mohd Hazzerwan is collaborating with big names in fashion.

He is excited at his latest partnership with Fashion valet for its ready-to-wear collection.

He is also preparing to make his debut at International Fashion Week next year in either London, Paris or Milan.

There has been growing concern over the rate of employability among fresh graduates, be it from local or private institutions. Students today may aspire to professions which may not be relevant to the country’s needs.

This may be due to lack of exposure and knowledge on the economic outlook in the country. Nevertheless, students have to plan their careers carefully.

TVET programmes are often deemed inferior to courses offered by private and local universities. It is unfortunate that there seems to be a stigma attached to those who pursue TVET. The younger generation needs to realise the importance of TVET and regard it as a viable pathway.

Associate Professor Dr Mohamad Sattar Rasul from the Department of Learning and Teaching Innovation (Technical and Vocational Education/Engineering Education) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Faculty of Education said that this misconception of TVET is common among low academic achievers.

“We have heard success stories and achievements of TVET graduates who may earn more than degree holders,” he commented, adding that a teacher’s role is imperative to see TVET in a new light.

“It is essential to expose secondary school teachers to the TVET educational framework and career path. Teachers have to stop regarding TVET as the second or last option for SPM school-leavers.

“Our country’s TVET framework is unique where students have many course options. Those who do not do well academically have the chance to pursue higher education regardless of their SPM results.

“TVET in Malaysia must be revamped or remodelled after the German and Japanese curricula which are endorsed by the industry. Professional bodies in Malaysia need to step up and ensure the standard curriculum is in line with industry need. The curriculum here was developed by the board at an institution which sometimes does not cater to industry demand.”

The country needs a skilled workforce and innovators who possess a high creativity in utilising its resources for manufacturing and produce good services to compete globally.

“TVET is important is many ways especially in the economic and social context. The government has emphasised that TVET graduates are not job seekers but job creators. This will contribute to the country’s economic growth and the sustainability of our social context in handling future challenges.”


TVET offers a rich array of programmes in many fields including automotive, culinary arts, electronics, engineering, entrepreneurship and journalism. It involves learning in class and hands-on training, which provide knowledge and skills for employment.

TVET students are equipped with specific skills in a specific field. Early exposure to practical and on-the-job-training ready them for the workplace.

CKL Group of Companies, which is best known for its Lim Tayar car service centres, established School of Skills (SoS) to meet industrial need for local experts and skilled labour in the automotive industry. SoS aims to instil its students with real-world experience, ready for the workplace.

CKL Group of Companies, executive director Clement Lim said that SoS is important to produce skilled workers in the automotive sector.

“SoS acts as a self-mitigation tool for the company to alleviate dependency on foreign workers. We hope to nurture more talents and hone quality recruits for the industry.

“SoS offers programmes designed to give students the skills they need to become skilled and professional workers. The number of cars on the road is increasing, making the automotive field a big market. Hence, once students finish their studies at SoS, a job placement is guaranteed.”

SoS training department head Daneshwaran Krishnasamy said trained experts in all fields are in demand in the country.

“Our programmes boost skills and the workforce in the automotive field. By doing something practical and hands-on, we are able to draw out students’ interest easily. Many of our students, who did not perform well academically, are passionate when it comes to practical training.

“This industry is lacking in manpower. I used to work at BMW car services where the technicians were highly paid. Some were confident enough to leave and set up their own workshops for premium cars.

“The biggest advantage of SoS is its workshop where students spend most of their training hours. However, this school is not for Lim Tayar alone. After finishing their advanced diploma, students can apply for internships at any automotive workshops in the country,” he added.

SoS offers theoretical and practical training, and the work-integrated Train and Place programme, which involves four months of classroom-based learning followed by eight months of industry exposure.


Generally, students go through 11 years of academic-based primary and secondary education.

Students who are not academically inclined can opt for vocational college as early as 16 years old upon completing Form Three.

Aiman Hakeem Aminuddin decided not to follow the mainstream path of applying to university despite scoring 8As in the SPM examination. The MRSM Tun Ghaffar student enrolled in the Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance course at SoS instead.

“I chose to pursue a TVET programme because I realised that picking up a skill benefits me in many ways, not only for future job prospects but also in my daily life.

“My family and I were going back to our hometown when the car tyre was punctured. Having learnt the skills in my diploma course, I was able to change the tyre without help,” he said.

“My parents convinced me to pursue a TVET programme. When the results for university applications were released, I did not even check mine as I was determined to study at a vocational college.


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Degree level studies for TVET diploma holders

Thursday, October 4th, 2018
Deputy Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (fifth from left) with Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) president Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin (fourth from left) and Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar in a group picture to commemorate the signing of the memorandum of understanding between MBOT and the Technology Expert Panel in Putrajaya. Pix by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) diploma holders will soon have the opportunity to study at the bachelor’s degree level in four universities under the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN), creating better career opportunities for their future.

This follows the exchange of 21 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) with the Technology Expert Panel (TEP), a strategic alliance between three sectors, namely government agencies, industry and the academia, under the purview of the Human Resource Ministry, Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry, and Education Ministry, in Putrajaya last week.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the initiative will look at existing gaps that TVET graduates face in terms of qualifications to enable them to further their studies at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

“What seems to be the problem for most TVET diploma holders is that they don’t have the necessary Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia credits required by MTUN for entry. We hope to prepare students at TVET colleges with the necessary requirements before they apply to enter MTUN universities,” he said.

However, Mahfuz said, even if TVET diploma holders did not further their studies at universities, they will have the advantage of being recognised as professional technologists and certified technicians.

“We must explore collaborations with international bodies so that our TVET graduates will not only have certificates from Malaysia but also be internationally certified.

That way, they can either work abroad or gain better positions when foreign investors come to Malaysia through recognition accorded,” he added.

MBOT, the professional body that gives professional recognition to technologists and technicians in related technology and technical fields, has already embarked on the articulation process to enable TVET diploma holders to bridge the gap towards the bachelor’s degree level education, said its president, Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin.

“The process entails matching the courses, requirements and coursework at vocational colleges with that at higher education institutions. This will ensure that courses the students complete will not have to be repeated at the institution to which they are transferring”, said Zaidee.

He said MBOT has signed an MoU with Education Ministry’s Malaysian Qualifications Agency to facilitate the process for the MTUN initiative.

“On the private higher education side, UniKL is already working with MBOT to facilitate entry of technologists and technicians into their degree courses,” he said.

Mahfuz said in supporting the country’s aspiration towards Industrial Revolution 4.0, MBOT is seen asadynamic and flexible professional body and most relevant platform to leverage expertise and skills from various areas of technology under its wings.

“This advanced technological elements are pervasively embedded into the TVET curricular right up to the technological practicing provision, to add value to the various booming industrial sectors in Malaysia,” he said.

At the MoU exchange, among the TEP panel members that were represented were CyberSecurity Malaysia, DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia. Allied Aeronautics Training Centre Sdn Bhd, Mara Corporation, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and Federation of Malaysian Skills Development Centres.


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TVET, a relevant choice

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
School of Skills head trainer Daneshwaran Krishnasamy (left) explaining to students the inner functions of a motor engine.

IN coping with today’s competitive job market, students have to plan their future and career aspirations carefully.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme is an option worth noting, although often seen as inferior to programmes offered by other tertiary education institutions.

The perception that TVET is only for students who do not excel in their studies has completely changed today. TVET is relevant as it involves education and hands-on job training, which provide knowledge and skills for employment.

People are starting to realise its importance and are opting for vocational courses to gain skills in different fields. TVET prepares students with specific skills for a specific job, thus, making employment easier as they are trained and equipped with the right skills. This gives TVET graduates an advantage in the job market compared with fresh college graduates, who may not have the relevant skills for the working industry.

Realising the deficit in the supply of skilled labour in the local automotive industry, CKL group launched the School of Skills (SoS), that provides vocational training for youths to fulfil the automotive industry’s need for skilled labour.

Executive director of CKL Group Companies, Clement Lim.

With the changes arising from economic and social development, this country requires a worker to be well trained in technical and professional skills. This is what SoS aspires to do — to groom its students with a real-world experience for their future employment.

SoS wants to further develop the vocational training offerings in Malaysia to build human capital, which has been proven to increase youth employment and benefit the industrial sector.

CKL Group started off with Lim Tayar, a homegrown automotive retail service company in 1985.

Clement Lim, executive director of CKL Group Companies said: “The main reason for the establishment of SoS is to act as a self-mitigation tool for this company. We want to produce more local experts in the automotive field as it is against the rule to hire foreign workers.”

“In SoS, we offer courses and programmes that are designed to give students the skills they need to become skilled and professional workers in automotive industry.”

“This industry is a big market. We can guarantee a job placement for each of our student so they can put their obtained skills to work after finishing the programme,” he said.

SoS Training Department head Daneshwaran Krishnasamy said picking up a skill is never a waste.

“The number of cars is increasing every day. I believe we are lacking of professional manpower in this industry. This programme will boost the skills and workforce in automotive field as Malaysia is in demand of trained experts.

“TVET will result in productive employment and act as an important factor in the country’s economic development,” he added.

“The biggest advantage of SoS is that we have our own workshop, where students spend most of their training hours. After their advanced diploma, the students will go through a three-month internship at any of 20 Lim Tayar outlets or other automotive workshops in Malaysia.

“However, students do not necessarily have to work with Lim Tayar once they graduate,” he said.

Located in Setia Alam, the training centre offers theoretical and practical training and a work-integrated learning programme called “Train and Place”, which involves four months of classroom-based learning followed by eight months of industry exposure.

Among the courses in SoS are Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) in Automotive after Sales Servicing, Diploma in Automotive Technology and Advanced Diploma in Automotive

Diagnostic Technology.

Students attending a briefing with School of Skills trainer.

“Additionally, students learn English communication skills, personal grooming and self-discipline as a part of their assessment. These are the skills that they need once the step into the industry,” said Lim.

The school will introduce a new non-automotive programme — Electronic, Plumbing and Air-conditioning (EPAC) course starting next month.

Lim said promoting SoS was a challenge as TVET programme was not the mainstream path for SPM school-leavers as compared with other education institutions.

He believed that TVET ensured individuals were equipped with relevant skills and assured to a strong degree of employment.

“There are many misconceptions about those who choose TVET as they are known as the blue-collared workers. However, their work prospects are high in demand and they can do the things that we can’t,” said Lim.

“In Malaysia especially, there is no awareness on boosting the skill workforce although our country needs more of them. Some of them are earning a higher income than degree-holders,” he said.


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Making TVET a relevant choice

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

THE Asia Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Forum 2018 recently concluded with Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik promising to make it the first choice for students in Malaysia.

Few countries have attracted a majority of their students to join a vocational track as their first choice. An exceptional case is Germany.

I visited Germany last year as a TVET visiting professor. I believe the German students are attracted to TVET due to its first-class infrastructure, industry-driven curriculum and high employability.

When visiting a German Berufsschule (vocational school); it was as if I was at a Technical University with first-class equipment, advanced technology and teachers with Masters’ degrees and craftsman qualifications. No wonder, German students are attracted to making this their first choice.


Elite Meister High School in South Korea has attracted high-achievers to choose the vocational track because of its prestige.

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the usage of smart robots, autonomous vehicles and Artificial Intelligence should be ubiquitous. Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, asserts that the fourth industrial revolution will fundamentally alter the way we live, communicate, work and play.

According to McClean (2018), it is estimated that 75% of future jobs will involve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) knowledge and skills. We will increasingly need workers who have critical thinking and problem-solving skills; have multidisciplinary and cross-cultural competencies; communication skills, and social, emotional, digital and vocational intelligences. In other words, a learner with multiple intelligences should be welcomed to join TVET.

A Korn Ferry recent report shows that a major faux pas is imminent throughout the world. Demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply in most countries. On the global scale, the report has highlighted a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people by 2030. In the context of talent crunch, the shortage in Asia Pacific region could reach 12.3 million people and estimated US$4.23 trillion (RM17.46 trillion) of revenue loss by 2030 due to the talent deficit in certain sectors. Even companies that are using Artificial Intelligence and smart robots foresee a growing need for human talent with advance intelligent skills. The Korn Ferry report shows that 67% of CEOs believe that advanced technology is critical for companies’ growth.

The gap between TVET and industry should be reduced. Lack of specific legislation in Malaysia that requires companies to shoulder training hand-in-hand with the public vocational training institutions as in Germany is evident.

Since 1969, Germany’s Federal Legislation makes it compulsory for industry involvement in Vocational Education and Training.

As a TVET expert, I admire the German Vocational Education and Training System because of its focus on quality without any political interference. Excellence in any system requires two things: quality and merit. We need a critical mass of intelligent-workers who are using cutting edge technologies. Malaysia should also become a magnet for attracting the best foreign talent. But more importantly, the government should be mindful of its citizens’ employability in the context of the global talent market.

Adjusting teaching styles

It is essential that TVET institutions and industry invest in intelligent skilled talent, first-class infrastructure and provide continued access to both formal and on-the-job training opportunities. In this sense, the government should embrace more flexible education and training eco-system and labour laws.

Generation Z or millennials will make up 60% of the workforce by 2020. These techno-junkies and Wifi generation prefer an interactive approach to learning, which blends information through a montage of images, icons, sound, video, animation and Artificial Intelligence. Gen Zs take advantage of the enormous resources of the cyberspace by using digital technologies to create something innovative. Unless teachers possess digital intelligence and skills, Gen Zs will get bored. Educators have to adjust their teaching styles to accommodate the psyche of Gen-Tech. A new digital pedagogy is required.

In the digital age, to accommodate the expectations of the Gen Zs, educators need to possess digital intelligence, digital literacy, creative thinking, agility and flexibility. The future of education will be more virtual, mobile, interactive, personalised, dynamic and innovative. Digital learners prefer customised curriculum, instruction, and assessment. To embrace true digital transformation, the need for visionary, creativity, agility, flexibility and esprit de corps among teachers and learners is a must.

SThe intelligent-based TVET model isn’t only about technology, it is about bringing together the power of innovation, a new culture and a new mindset that embraces the change brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

TVET has been rebranded several times in the past. They mostly focused on enhancing the quality of TVET talent and skills. But building “intelligent TVET” is missing from the reform agenda. An intelligent-based TVET model should be developed to bridge its curriculum with the industry’s needs.

Key resolutions from the Asia TVET Forum 2018 are to enhance the 3As: Accessibility, Articulation and Accreditation. But what is lacking is the fourth A – Autonomy for TVET institutions.

American philosopher of education, John Dewey argued that in order for education to flourish, it requires “substantial autonomy” for institutions, teachers and learners.

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The value of technical skills

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018
Hanis Syuhada works with cows as it has been her ambition to care for the well-being of large animals since her primary school days.

Hanis Syuhada works with cows as it has been her ambition to care for the well-being of large animals since her primary school days.

ALBERT Einstein once said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Yet in this corner of the world, many people – the older generation in particular – still do so by holding on to the mindset that achieving high academic scores equates to success.

They deem university education as most prestigious and believe nothing else, including Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), can beat that.

However, TVET graduates Nur Izzati Athirah Mohamad Yusof, 21, and Hanis Syuhada Abd Halim, 21, beg to differ.

Nur Izzati Athirah, now a full time certified underwater welder and trainer, said she chose the tough profession as it presented challenges, which allowed her to improve her skillsets through experiential and practical learning.

Nur Izzati Athirah dressed in full gear as she prepares to carry out her job under water.

Nur Izzati Athirah dressed in full gear as she prepares to carry out her job under water.

“Some misconceptions people have towards vocational training is that it doesn’t offer job opportunities and that it is hard to enter university with it. We all have opportunities, but it is up to us to find and secure them,” said the lass who completed her diploma in welding technology from a vocational college in Taiping, as well as underwater welding training from Weldzone Training Centre Sdn Bhd.

Hanis Syuhada, a full time assistant veterinarian in a dairy farm in Desaru, Johor, said TVET allowed those – like herself – who are not academically inclined to pursue something which they are passionate about.

“The perception whereby academic achievement is deemed as success is wrong. Getting a string of As in exams does not determine our success in the workplace.

“Those who are good in academics are idea contributors, but it is skilled workers who execute the work,” said the animal lover who now tends to the cows on the farm, caring for their every need from feeding, nursing to performing surgery during their labour.

“Caring for the well-being of large animals was my ambition since primary school, even though I knew it wouldn’t be easy and that not all ladies can handle it,” said Hanis Syuhada who graduated from Kolej Vokasional Datuk Lela Maharaja, Rembau, Negri Sembilan in August last year.

Challenges and advantages

Fondly known as “cow girl” due to the nature of her work, Hanis Syuhada – who wants to be the top in her field – said it was tough breaking into the male dominated sector.

“I have faced discrimination where my male colleagues would tell me that I’m doing is a man’s job.

“I turn their negativity into motivation. The more they tell me I can’t do it, the more I’ll do it to prove to them and myself that I can,” she said, adding that no one should be afraid of pursuing their dreams.

“TVET also made me realise that I can do what my male colleagues can do, and this gave my confidence a boost,” said Hanis Syuhada who hopes more females would follow in her footsteps to take up a course of their liking in TVET.

Fortunately for Nur Izzati Athirah otherwise known as the Iron Lady, she did not face discrimination in the workplace. However, her work environment is its own challenge.

The brave lass has to muster her courage to overcome her fear of water and has to risk running into wild marine animals each time she carries out her job underwater.

Hanis Syuhada works with cows as it has been her ambition to care for the well-being of large animals since her primary school days.

On the advantages, Nur Izzati Athirah said it helped her be braver and toughened her up.

“TVET helped me advance in my career and created healthy competition between me and my male colleagues.

“The training is also important to produce skilled workers that the country lacks,” she said.

Hanis Syuhada agreed, saying that the country can gradually reduce its dependence on foreign workers if more skilled and certified workers are produced locally.

“TVET can also help raise the reputation of Malaysia’s skilled workers sector because the country does have talented individuals,” she said, adding that good skilled workers can also venture overseas to make a good living as well as expand their knowledge in their respective fields.

Bright futures for certified grads

Weldzone Training Centre Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Mohd Shukri Mohd Abdul Aziz said he was proud of Nur Izzati Athirah, noting that she is a good role model for the youth.

“She is doing very well. She tries very hard to do her best because she is competing in a male dominated occupation,” said the man who has over 30 years of experience in the field.

Nur Izzati Athirah’s achievement can open the eyes of other youths, helping them realise that underwater welding can provide one with a promising career, he said.

She has a bright future ahead of her as she has had many job offers coming from within and beyond the country, he added.

Former Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon previously said TVET students are highly sought after and are being offered good jobs – with about 90% out of 13,000 TVET students securing jobs even before graduating last year.

He noted that the starting salary of TVET graduates started from RM2,000, reaching up to RM5,000 a month – which is comparable to university graduates.

“Vocational and technical graduates don’t just end up opening beauty salons or bakeries, many of them work for multinational companies like (aircraft manufacturer) Boeing, which has a service centre in Malaysia.

“If your children aren’t interested in academic studies, don’t force them. Let them choose their career paths according to their interests,” he said previously.

More to be done in TVET

Mohd Shukri said TVET enables individuals who are not academically inclined to excel in whichever field they are capable in.

“They are able to gain valuable hands-on experience as well as get good certification upon completing a certified programme,” he said.

However, he pointed out that initiatives to propel TVET are still lacking in the country.

“There are roughly 53 institutions in Malaysia that train welders, but sadly many of them train students using outdated machines and technology.

“I engaged about 100 TVET graduates previously and they didn’t know how to operate the new machines. They had to go through another round of intensive training and that cost time and resources,” he shared, noting that there is a gap between TVET institutions and the industry that needs to be filled.

“Institutions need advisors who are from the industry to keep them updated on what is happening at grassroots level. They also need to be more open to suggestions and should not get angry when issues are brought up,” he said.

He also shared that success stories of TVET graduates as well as those who draw a salary of RM5,000 a month make up a very small percentage and this should change.

For more females to break into male dominated fields, Mohd Shukri said workers’ – the males in particular – need to improve their proffesionalism.

“Some female welders I have trained were prohibited from entering their work premises to carry out their jobs, not because they were not good in what they do, but because the management was concerned on their safety as the number of male workers greatly overshadowed them,” he said.

With only about 8% of secondary students involved in TVET last year, Chong had reiterated to parents to change the outdated view that university education was more prestigious, especially when university graduates were struggling to secure jobs.

He pointed out the country must catch up to advanced countries like Germany and Switzerland, where almost 60% of their students are in TVET.

During the Going Global 2018 international conference held in Kuala Lumpur last month, Asean Secretariat deputy secretary-general for socio-cultural community Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee said Asean was trying to give TVET the recognition it deserves and a special working group has been formed “to push TVET to a higher level within Asean.” He added that these are all part of efforts to prepare the region for the fourth industrial revolution.

By Lee Chonghui
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TVET, fulfilling human capital needs

Monday, May 14th, 2018
Equal value: One of the aspirations of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) is to have academic and TVET pathways valued and cultivated equally. — Bernama

Equal value: One of the aspirations of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) is to have academic and TVET pathways valued and cultivated equally. — Bernama

TECHNICAL and vocational education and training (TVET) is not only meant to fulfil the human capital needs of the industry, but also to provide social mobility opportunities to the marginalised.

Higher Education Ministry Polytechnic Education director-general Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz said about 80% of students in polytechnics are from families in the B40 category.

“Many people enrol in TVET courses because they’ve missed the opportunity to enter university.

“This isn’t because they are not smart but it’s because they come from difficult backgrounds,” he said.

For those who are less academically inclined, he added that, the TVET pathway still allows students to gain professional certification, obtain decent jobs and move up the social ladder.

He explained that students can pursue their certification at one of the 105 community colleges in Malaysia before continuing their diploma at a polytechnic.

From there, they can study for their degrees in university and even continue right up to PhD level.

During the recent Going Global 2018 international conference, Prof Mohd Ismail said Malaysia is actively promoting TVET as the educational pathway of choice to its citizens.

He said one of the aspirations of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) is to have academic and TVET pathways valued and cultivated equally.

Under the Economic Transformation Programme, Malaysia will require a 2.5-fold increase in TVET enrolment by 2025.

Pathway of choice: Prof Mohd Ismail (standing) speaking to delegates during the Going Global 2018 international conference.

Pathway of choice: Prof Mohd Ismail (standing) speaking to delegates during the Going Global 2018 international conference.

Presently, there is an undersupply of TVET workers in 10 of the 12 National Key Economic Area sectors.

Prof Mohd Ismail was one of the presenters during the “What Skills Do Learners Really Need?” during the conference.

He said that the ministry has also been actively and continuously engaging with the industries to find out how TVET institutions can fulfil industry needs.

“We ask them what it is they want from the education institutions? What do they want in the curriculum? What type of graduates do they want and when do they want them?” he elaborated.

He said that industry representatives also come to the polytechnics to teach students.

They have also given their input and helped design our programmes, he added.

The Malaysian polytechnics and community colleges have a very good employability record.

“Around 95%, which is the expectation set by the Higher Education Ministry for our TVET programmes,” he added.

“The industries expect students coming out from our TVET institutions to be able to start work immediately after completing their courses.”

There are many industry-led components to ensure TVET graduates are highly employable.

One of them is work-based learning, said Prof Mohd Ismail, where the students spend a year or more working in the industry to gain experience.

There are about 16,000 industry partners working with the ministry to improve and promote TVET education in Malaysia.

Based on their discussions, he said the industry has asked that students coming out from TVET institutions be holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced.

To achieve this, Prof Mohd Ismail says all 37 polytechnics, 105 community colleges and 20 public universities have implemented the Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCPGA) system to gauge student outcomes.

The iCGPA assesses students across eight domains of learning outcomes including knowledge, social responsibility, communications, leadership and teamwork, problem solving skills, entrepreneurial skills, as well as values and ethics.

With these skills, combined with the “hard skills” they learn at the TVET institutions, these students are ready to meet the needs of the fourth industrial revolution, he added.

During the Redesigning Higher Education for 4.0 Industrial Revolution – The Asean Experience session, Higher Education deputy secretary-general and chief information officer Datuk Dr Kamel Mohamad said the Higher Education Ministry wants to recognise the importance of TVET professions.

“Right now we are promoting TVET no longer as a second choice,” he explained.

He added that the government has taken various initiatives to promote TVET including the formation of the Malaysia Board of Technologists to recognise technologists and technicians as recognised professions.

The ministry, he added, has merged the department of polytechnics and department of community colleges to ease collaboration among the departments.

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TVET, the way forward

Sunday, March 25th, 2018
Fajura (second from right) says there is no age limit for those interested in joining Limkokwing TVET International as there is no barrier to lifelong learning.

Fajura (second from right) says there is no age limit for those interested in joining Limkokwing TVET International as there is no barrier to lifelong learning.

CRUCIAL emphasis is placed on the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and its role in equipping young Malaysians for the fourth industrial revolution.

The Government has also frequently conveyed its aspirations of producing highly skilled Malaysians who can contribute to its aim of positioning the country among the top 20 nations by 2050.

In line with this, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology has launched the Limkokwing TVET International, an initiative by the university to spearhead TVET education and training.

“The TVET (landscape) is huge. “We need to change the mindset of Malaysians who think only students who do not pass or do well in school sign up for it.

Fajura said courses will begin on April 15, and the varsity expects a minimum of 15 students per course.

There is no age limit for those interested in joining Limkokwing TVET International as there is no barrier to lifelong learning, she added.

Some of the objectives behind the initiative include educating people on the kind of opportunities that are available when one is skilled in areas they did not expect would be available to them.

In addition, the Limkokwing TVET International is a platform for working adults to gain professional recognition in order to progress in their careers.

Acknowledging the potential the country has, Fajura said Limkokwing TVET International also aims to make Malaysia the hub of skilled resource.

The programme has at least 450 modules and is open to the public, both Malaysians and non-Malaysians.

Fajura said the courses are flexible as there are short and long courses.

The former runs between one day to a month, while the latter runs between six months to one-and-a-half years.

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology Industry Empowerment senior vice president Datuk Raja Aznil Raja Hisham said the university does not aim to produce mere job seekers but job creators.

The university is a strategic partner with the Human Resource Ministry to develop structured courses and nurturing existing programmes, Fajura said.

By the end of the course, students will be assessed by the university through examinations and projects.

Assessments will also be carried out by industry partners, where students will be evaluated through their work portfolio.

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TVET System Vital to meet Needs Of Industry 4.0

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

NILAI, Jan 12 (Bernama) — As Malaysia’s premier Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institution, polytechnics under the Higher Education Ministry should play a big role in that field of education.

Polytechnic Education Department director-general Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz said this was because the TVET system was now seen as one of the most important education fields to drive the country’s future and meet the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

As such, he said, lecturers and students at polytechnics should be prepared to face the global challenges in a bid to realise the country’s aspiration to become a developed nation.

“Lecturers should not confine themselves to the existing knowledge in their field, they are very talented and they must be willing to relearn and get the second skill. For students, they must be mentally and physically prepared to meet future challenges,” he told reporters after delivering the 2018 New Year message at the Nilai Polytechnic here today.


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Recognition for tech and vocational job holders.

Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Idris and Ahmad Zaidee (right) lifting up the plaque at the closing of the summit. Looking on is Dr Hamisah.

Idris and Ahmad Zaidee (right) lifting up the plaque at the closing of the summit. Looking on is Dr Hamisah.

TECHNOLOGISTS and technicians can no longer be considered as “second class engineers”.

In fact, thanks to the establishment of the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT), jobs under these categories will now receive the recognition and accreditation they deserve.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the board formed by the Government, plays an important role in upholding the integrity of the professions.

“MBOT also gives a space to technologists and those in the technical and vocational fields to receive proper training because they are required to face the fourth industrial revolution,” he said during the recent closing of its Technology and Technical Accreditation Summit 2017.

Recognising these professions is not something new as this is already practised in countries like France and Korea, said Idris.

“TVET (Technology and Vocational Education and Training) is growing just as fast as conventional academics in this country,” he added.

Idris also said that MBOT has partnered with Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to give accreditation to courses for technologists and technicians.

The Technology and Technical Accreditation Council and the Technology and Technical Accreditation Secretariat is the result of this partnership, he said.

To date, the agency has received more than 30 accreditation applications from public institutions of higher education for their courses.

During the summit, 17 higher education institutions, which were given self-accreditation status by MQA, and four programmes from Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) were accredited by MBOT and MQA.

Also present at the event was MBOT President Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin and Higher Education director-general Datin Paduka Dr Hamisah Tapsir.

Meanwhile, Bernama quoted Idris as saying that students who are currently pursuing their PhD under the ministry’s sponsorship will be allowed to extend the duration of their studies.

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Skilled workers at the ready

Thursday, October 26th, 2017
Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz (right) and Marufah Jailan, the Malaysia representative of Worldskill Competition 2017. NSTP/ROSELA ISMAIL

OFTENTIMES, when a school-leaver fails to meet the entry requirements of public universities, the assumption is that he will be denied the opportunity of a good job or a promising career.

Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz said this is a perception that needs to be corrected.

The director general of the Department of Polytechnic Education at the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) said students who miss out on a place at university have every chance to achieve success in the form of employment or establishing their own businesses after a Technical and Vocational Education (TVET).

“Due to economic reasons during their schooling years, many students — particularly those who did not have the privilege of extra academic assistance — do not make the grade for university. But this shouldn’t be perceived as a major hurdle in acquiring knowledge for a successful working life and aspiring to move up to a higher level in life.

“TVET education develops competitive human capital that is highly skilled and ready for employment in the technical sector, and trade and services. And such skilled workforce is in demand to meet the country’s needs in embracing global challenges. The ministry is committed to the mainstreaming and improving the quality of TVET to make it a popular choice among students.”

At present universities produce 52 per cent of the workforce; the TVET stream generates 36 per cent. “Under the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020, we want TVET’s contribution to increase to 47 per cent by having polytechnics complement universities.”

Mohd Ismail emphasised that the range of workers graduating from polytechnics is different from those from universities. The employability rate in polytechnics is at more than 90 per cent while at community colleges, it is more than 96 per cent.

“Our mandate is to be industry-driven so, therefore, we ensure our graduates are employable and industry-ready through formal, non-formal and informal learning. We strive to empower learners through the enculturation of lifelong learning and development of entrepreneurial skills. We also aim to enhance industry-driven programmes through active engagement with industries and communities.”

Since stepping into his current position slightly more than two months ago, Mohd Ismail has been engaged in talks with captains of industry.


“Our approach is this: Tell us what you want, we can produce it. Our curriculum can be modified accordingly,” he said, citing the newly introduced Diploma of Digital Technology for the present academic year as an example of how adaptive and responsive the Polytechnic Department is.

“The programme is a result of talks with the industry that started in June. The industry wanted graduates ready for the digital revolution. We discussed the curriculum through July and August. By September, it was ready and open for enrolment.

“We have freedom to change 30 per cent of our curriculum as approved by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and we are able to quickly adapt our curriculum to industry demand. We have to be agile to be relevant. And this is as important as technology, things are moving very fast.”

Polytechnics staff who started their careers some 20 years ago pose one of the challenges of the current pace of changes. “I promote reskilling and upskilling, and encourage them to get a second skill. This is important because they are in danger of becoming irrelevant. We cannot be hiring new people all the time.”

There are 7,559 teaching staff at the 36 polytechnics under MOHE across the country. Some 6,460 are lecturers with industry exposure. Fifty-seven per cent of the total are bachelor degree holders, 37 per cent have master’s degree and one per cent are doctoral holders.

Staff who share the same vision is important to produce graduates with creativity, integrity, agility and professionalism, said Mohd Ismail.

On the quality of education in polytechnics, he said TVET programmes are accredited by the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission as TVET providers.

“The country has eight out of the Top 10 polytechnics in the Asia Pacific. We are recognised internationally and by engaging with industry, we make sure our curriculum is always relevant and ensure employability. We don’t compromise on quality and are compliant with requirements as stipulated by MQA. While we get 100,000 applications for our programmes annually, we want more quality students to join,” he said.

Mohd Ismail added that polytechnics are responsive to the industry and industry-driven. “The name ‘polytechnic’ denotes a multi-skilled institution. It meets the demands of the industry by supplying a workforce with the right skills — highly skilled workers who can value-add products and services. This is our charter and we don’t want to lose sight of it.”


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