Only 7% go for technical, vocational skills after Form Three

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Only 7 per cent of students across the country take up Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) after their Form Three.

Deputy Education Minister, Datuk P. Kamalanathan said various efforts had been implemented to increase the entry of students into TVET institutions and vocational colleges, besides giving them exposure on career prospects after graduating from the vocational colleges.

“The Education Ministry has been transforming the TVET since 2012 to uplift the status of this stream as a premier stream to help realise the government’s aspiration of meeting the country’s need for skilled workers by 2020,” he said in reply to a question from Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai) in the Dewan Rakyat, here, today.

To a supplementary question from Dr Mansor Abd Rahman (BN-Sik) on the ministry’s strategies to increase rural students’ enrolment into the vocational colleges, Kamalanathan said the measures included making publicity broadcasts via the radio channels, newspaper advertisements and collaboration with non-governmental organisations.

He said online applications for entry into the TVET institutions for the 2018 session had been opened and many applications had been received thus far.

Besides the Education Ministry, six other ministries involved in implementing the TVET are the Human Resources; Higher Education; Works; Youth and Sports; Rural and Regional Development; and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry ministries.

Source: Bernama

TVET getting more popular, says Human Resources Minister

Human Resources Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem (centre) presenting a scroll to one of the graduates at the National Dual Training System’s 3rd Convocation Ceremony at Panggung Budaya of the Sarawak Cultural Village. Pix by Goh Pei Pei

Human Resources Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem said TVET used to be a second option for those who did not excel academically.

“However, in the past four to five years, we noticed that students who did well academically also enrolled in TVET institutions.

“This show that there the government’s efforts, in raising awareness on the importance and potential of TVET, have worked out positively,” he said.

“Malaysia plans to have 35 per cent of skilled workforce by 2020 in order to achieve a high income nation status.

“I am confident that we can reach our target because our skilled workforce has increased from 28 per cent (in 2015) to 31 per cent this year,” he said.

Many developed countries, Richard said, also emphasised on TVET.

For instances, more then 50 per cent of the workforce in Singapore are skilled workers, he pointed out.

Speaking at the National Dual Training System’s 3rd Convocation Ceremony here, he said academic success is still relevant but there is also a need to have a workforce that is equipped with skills and technical knowledge.

He said an allocation of RM4.9 billion for TVET institutions in the 2018 Budget showed the government’s commitment towards the vision.

“I can assure you that if you are a graduate of TVET, you will have a bright future as the country needs you,” he added.

A total 173 students received their scroll at the ceremony today, having attended various courses including food preparation and presentation, homestay operation, traditional music and dancing performances and audio production.

Source: By Goh Pei Pei – 

Education Ministry: No racial quota for entry to vocational colleges

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the government was building more vocational colleges to provide more places for students interested in taking up technical and vocational courses. — Saw Siong FengDeputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the government was building more vocational colleges to provide more places for students interested in taking up technical and vocational courses. — Saw Siong Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — The Education Ministry said today it had not set any racial quota for intake of students into vocational colleges.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the government was building more vocational colleges to provide more places for students interested in taking up technical and vocational courses.

He said that since the Vocational Education Transformation Plan was introduced in 2012, some 81 vocational colleges went into operation throughout the country and five more were under construction.

“The provision of new places for vocational training does not depend on racial quota as it is open to all students who want to acquire the skills,” he said during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat.

He was replying to a supplementary question from M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) who wanted to know the efforts of the government in assisting minority groups such as the Indian community to obtain places in vocational colleges.

When replying to the original question from Kulasegaran on the number of students who succeeded in obtaining the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (Malaysia Skills Certificate), Chong said that to date, 2,273 graduates in the 2016 first cohort from 15 vocational colleges received the Vocational College Diplomas.

He said 12,997 graduates in the second cohort obtained similar diplomas in August this year.

“A total of 90.58 per cent of the 2,273 first cohort graduates had gained employment while 55.49 per cent of the 12,997 students in the second cohort were offered jobs even before completing their studies,” he said. — Bernama

Comment: It’s the awareness & perhaps language & culture barrier that limits the number of non Malay students in these vocational colleges (basically any public institutions). Therefore, it’s very important that non Malay students have a better command of the Malay language and this must start from primary schools, otherwise they would shun these public institutions.

2018 Budget: TVET Malaysia Master Plan unveiled, RM4.9bil allocated

All Technical and Vocational Education Training institutions previously under seven ministries will be rebranded as TVET Malaysia and placed under the Human Resources Ministry.

KUALA LUMPUR: All Technical and Vocational Education Training institutions previously under seven ministries will be rebranded as TVET Malaysia and placed under the Human Resources Ministry.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that RM4.9 billion will also be allocated to implement the TVET Malaysia Master Plan.

“To encourage TVET graduates to continue their studies, the government has prepared 100 TVET Excellent Students Scholarships worth RM4.5 million,” he added.

The government will also create the National Rail Centre of Excellence in a bid to support skilled workers in the rail industry.

The centre, he said, will supervise and coordinate quality assurance, as well as national rail education and training accreditation.

Najib also said Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd, in cooperation with higher education institutions, will train 3,000 professionals in the industry.

Source: NST Online

Comment: It’s good that finally efforts can be streamlined. Hopefully the Ministry of Human Resources, especially the Department of Skills Development, has the extra capacity in terms of manpower & budget to execute policies well.

Free higher education for all, Pakatan pledges in alternative budget

Pakatan Harapan said free education is imperative to address a lack of critical thinking skills desired by employers among graduates hunting for jobs. — Picture by Choo Choy MayPakatan Harapan said free education is imperative to address a lack of critical thinking skills desired by employers among graduates hunting for jobs. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, October 25 — Tertiary education will be free to everyone within 10 years if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) pact succeeds in taking control of Putrajaya in the next elections.

The federal Opposition pact made the pledge in its alternative Budget 2018 today, saying such a policy was possibly as it would conduct “a full audit and study on cost, wastage and corruption factors in all public universities”.

“Pakatan Harapan believes in free public education for all. The provision of free public university education is an ideal that we must achieve within 10 years of taking over government.

“Further, we need to help our graduates increase their employability and wages. To do this, Pakatan Harapan will place greater emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” it said.

The Opposition alliance of PKR, DAP, Parti Amanah Negara and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia said free education is imperative to address a lack of critical thinking skills desired by employers among graduates hunting for jobs.

PH also said it would also expand the Penang government’s German Dual Vocational Training (GDVT), launched in 2015, into a nationwide programme.

It said that while the ruling Barisan Nasional administration’s Education Blueprint has identified TVET as a priority area, there are few resources for apprentice programmes.

“Under this programme, host companies are given funding to conduct on-the-job training for selected TVET students who can then go on to obtain jobs in the same companies or the same sector,” it added.

Source: Malaymailonline

Comment: Much that I laud PH’s pledge in its alternative Budget 2018 for free higher education in 10 years time should they come into power but saying that there are limited resources for apprentice programmes are not true. The government has allocated & spent quite a lot (I don’t have the figure but I can feel it as an industry player) to implement the National Dual Training System (NDTS) via the Department of Skills Development, Ministry of Human Resources. Nevertheless, it could have been better if leakages/corruption were to be minimized.

So, what’s NDTS & why NDTS? Well, that deserve another post 🙂

Program PVMA bantu selesai isu pelajar tercicir

SHAH ALAM – Pandangan Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat (KPWKM), Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim terhadap isu pelajar tercicir atau pelajar bermasalah boleh diselesaikan dengan cara yang lebih baik.

Sebaliknya menurut Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Bertindak ILKS Bumiputera, Nordin Abdul Malek, masalah pelajar tercicir mungkin dapat diatasi dengan kelas pemulihan atau kelas kemahiran di sekolah.

“Pihak kami menghormati pandangan banyak pihak terhadap isu ini. Bagaimanapun saya lihat tidak ada penyelesaian terbaik yang disuarakan oleh kerajaan.

“Pada pandangan kami, isu pelajar tercicir sepatutnya sudah ada penyelesaian.Pelajar yang bermasalah atau tidak minat untuk mengikuti  kelas kemahiran, yang mana ia diisi dengan aktiviti yang boleh membimbing semula mereka,” katanya kepada Sinar Online, hari ini.

Menurut beliau, kerajaan sepatutnya bekerjasama dengan pengusaha pusat latihan kemahiran bumiputera yang menguruskan Program Pendidikan Vokasional Menengah Atas (PVMA) untuk menyelesaikan isu tersebut.

“Kami berpengalaman lebih 20 tahun untuk menguruskan pelajar seperti ini dan kami mengambil pelajar mengikuti program kemahiran seawal tingkatan empat.

“Kami tawarkan kepada remaja atau pelajar yang kebanyakannya tidak berminat untuk mengikuti pembelajaran akademik,” jelasnya.

Kelmarin, Kementerian KPWKM  mencadangkan hukuman buang sekolah digantikan dengan kelas pemulihan atau peralihan untuk pelajar bermasalah yang diisi dengan aktiviti yang boleh membimbing semula mereka.

Rohani menyarankan Kementerian Pendidikan menimbang  semula hukuman buang sekolah itu memandangkan kebanyakan pelajar yang dibuang sekolah lebih terdedah untuk bergaul dengan golongan yang salah dan terlibat dengan jenayah.

[ARTIKEL BERKAITAN: Kaji semula hukuman buang sekolah]

Menurutnya lagi, program itu mampu meringankan bebanan guru dalam mengawal selia pelajar di sekolah.

“Setiap sekolah ada kelompok yang dianggap berisiko tinggi yang tidak berminat untuk meneruskan sesi pembelajaran. Mereka mempunyai sikap yang mengganggu keharmonian sekolah.

“Beban guru sudah terlalu tinggi. Mereka perlu fokus kepada pelajar yang mahu meneruskan pengajian dan dalam masa sama mereka perlu menumpukan perhatian kepada kelompok pelajar berisiko tinggi ini,” ujarnya lagi.

Sehubungan itu, beliau mencadangkan satu jawatan kuasa ditubuhkan kementerian bagi menangani masalah tersebut.

“Saya cadangkan tubuhkan task force dan jemput kami sebagai ahli jawatan kuasa memandangkan kami mempunyai pengalaman lebih 20 tahun dalam menguruskan kelompok pelajar tercicir,” katanya lagi.

Sumber: Sinar Harian

Ulasan: Pelajar PVMA lazimnya tiada 5 kredit, jadi, boleh mohon sambung belajar di pusat latihan kemahiran di Pusat Bertauliah JPK, boleh cari di sini

900,000 new jobs require TVET under 11th Plan

Haslina (centre) presents a certificate to a graduand, as Mohd Nizam looks on.

MIRI: About 1.5 million new jobs are expected under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) and 60 per cent of these jobs will require qualifications in technical and vocational training.

Ministry of Youth and Sports Deputy Secretary General (Strategic), Haslina Abdul Hamid said this shows that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is instrumental in providing the skilled manpower required for Malaysia to become a developed country by 2020.

Haslina said this when officiating at Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) Miri 10th Convocation Ceremony in Meritz Hotel yesterday. Also present at the function was IKBN Miri director Mohd Nizam Ismail.

“To fulfil the demands of industries, ‘Programme 20:50’ which aims to have 50 per cent skill courses by the year 2020, especially for those serving in the frontline in ILKBS (Ministry of Youths and Sports Training Institutes), will use English as a medium of instruction.

“As communication is among the soft-skills required in the job market, English has become an important element to equip and prepare these ILKBS students,” she said.

The ministry is hoping to attract and encourage youths to take up skill courses with ILKBS especially at IKBN Miri.

At the convocation ceremony 292 graduates received certificates in Automotive (178), Mechanical (18) and Hospitality (96).

“The ministry is also proud that there are some ILKBS alumni members who are serving in various industries within and outside the country, becoming successful entrepreneurs and earning high incomes,” she said.

Haslina disclosed that based on a research, the average monthly income for ILKBS graduates is between RM3,000 to RM60,000.

Comments: Unfortunately, in the race to achieve the numbers, the Ministry overlooked on the quality side. There’s some loopholes & weaknesses where so called experienced candidates who are not that expert in their field are able to obtain their SKM (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia) via the RPEL  (PPT) method.

Source: The Borneo Post

Despite election budget, Malaysia still needs to tackle long-term structural problems: Experts

Despite election budget, Malaysia still needs to tackle long-term structural problems: Experts

After failing to get a job with her engineering degree, the Ipoh woman became a maid to make ends meet.

It is problems like these that economists say must be tackled in Budget 2018 even though it’s likely be filled with “election goodies” targeted at the ruling coalition’s traditional supporters.

Aid and handouts are important for a significant portion of the population in 2018, but structural reforms to solve issues like youth unemployment and stagnant wages are critical for the country in the next five years.

“It will be timely for Budget 2018 to catalyse the shift towards private sector-led and market-based approaches,” said Dr Yeah Kim Leng of Sunway University’s Business School.

“(This is) to address the stagnant wage, weak employment growth, low productivity and over-dependence on unskilled foreign workers.”

Other issues that experts said the government needs to deal with include being disciplined with how it spends public funds and reducing barriers to business to drive more investment.

Although the government is expected to spend more in 2018 over expectations that revenue will increase, it should not overspend, said Dr Yeah.

“The budget should continue its prudent and disciplined path of fiscal consolidation and deficit reduction as this will ensure sustainable growth, enhanced investor confidence.”

Economist Lee Heng Guie said whatever extra money that is earned should be spent efficiently.

“The government should stay the path of fiscal consolidation to ensure optimal deployment of resources and preserve fiscal stability,” said Mr Lee, who is with the Socio-Economic Research Centre.

“With a broad-based consumption tax (the goods and services tax), the federal government does not suffer from a lack of revenue (so) it’s important not to overspend and to plug leakages,” he added.

This year, the economy grew at a stronger pace after a slump of two years, said Mr Lee, powered by consumer spending, rebound in private investments and a strong surge in exports.

“Real GDP (gross domestic product) growth roared back to expand strongly by 5.7 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2017.”

This has allowed the overall unemployment rate to remain low at 3.3 per cent.

But the youth unemployment rate hit 10.6 per cent in 2016 and about 23 per cent of university graduates are unemployed, said Mr Lee, which is a worrying figure.

“The youth employability must be tackled both at the supply- and demand-side equations. It is not just a simple mismatch between training and job requirements.”

It is a problem that is closely tied with the rapidly changing technological landscape, the quality and investment in universities and industries’ addiction to cheap, unskilled foreign labour, experts said.

Mr Lee noted that getting more youths back in the job market requires more money and emphasis on technical and vocational education and developing entrepreneurs.

Economist Raja Rasiah of Universiti Malaya said that the government should consider introducing incentives for the creation of a dual-training system like how Germany does it.

The renowned German education system sees vocational schools and small and medium companies work together to produce highly skilled workers for industries. It has been credited for keeping youth unemployment low.

Dr Rajah added that more money should be spent on creating entrepreneurship programmes in public and private universities.

Mr Lee said policies to help companies to invest in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” will also create new skilled job opportunities.

“The revolution is essentially about ‘smart factories’, leveraging on robotics, digitalised data censoring, the internet of things to reap cost savings in real-time quality control and maintenance.”

This calls for targeted incentives and grants, investment capital allowance and high-tech Industrial Adjustment Fund to facilitate more manufacturers, especially small and medium enterprises to automate and embrace industrial internet, he observed.

Upgrading the country’s industrial base will also help deal with another economic bugbear – addiction to low-skilled foreign workers.

Manufacturing firms need to be pushed more to upgrade their operations so that they relied less on low-skilled foreign workers, Dr Rajah stressed.

Lawmakers such as Mr Liew Chin Tong, said that Malaysia’s unchecked use of low-skilled foreign workers had led to depressed wages for everyone.

“(An) influx of unskilled foreign labour hurts the wages of Malaysians at all levels, not just for labour,” Mr Liew wrote on his blog.

“Since there is abundance of supply of labour, workers have no bargaining power to demand better pay and conditions in the ‘race to the bottom’ for wages.”

The use of less-skilled foreign labour in export-oriented firms has also reduced the pressure on firms to upgrade, said Dr Rajah.

Source: THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

How Do We Equip Malaysia’s Workforce For Industry 4.0

The focus of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) recently received widespread attention in Malaysia, after Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the government’s plan to develop a comprehensive TVET plan to help the future workforce in facing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Coined by German economist Klaus Schwab in 2015, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is used to describe the emergence of the Digital Economy and use of automation and data exchange in industrial technologies. Commonly referred to with the catchprase Industry 4.0 it also included the Internet of Things and collaboration between networked machines and human beings in decision-making.

We might not feel it in our daily lives but robots and computers are slowly replacing some traditional jobs from the last century and creeping into our daily lives in the form of smart appliances and machines with computer programmes that can learn our habits and preferences.

Technology experts are already speaking about the coming industrial revolution as one that has the potential to disrupt every industry in every country due to the exponential pace that is the nature of digital revolution which is at the heart of Industry 4.0

This is already happening in businesses and industries as robotics and artificial intelligence can take over jobs traditionally manned by human labour, in particular technical processes that can easily be computerised.

As for the Malaysian government, they are going to allocate RM 50 million from 30 % of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) funds collected for the purpose of TVET, to increase competitiveness as well as improving the calibre of the workforce and the nation’s economic development.

While our nation is still in the process of streamlining vocational education to meet international standards, it also has to grapple with revamping the same fledgling TVET education structure to ensure the skills taught are not at risk of becoming obsolete.

What skills and education do TVET students need in order to ride the coming digital revolution and not risk having their expertise be replaced by a computerised machine?

To understand the importance of TVET in facing Industry 4.0, Malaysian Digest reached out to industry insiders for an insight on the matter.

Malaysia Is Lagging Behind Its Southeast Asian Neighbours In Implementing Vocational Education

Malaysian Digest interviewed Adlan Ali, an electrical engineering and TVET lecturer in Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM). He has written many papers relating to TVET education, and have collaborated with many academic institutions, private companies and government agencies relating to TVET for the past 18 years.

Adlan Ali. Photo: UTeMAdlan Ali. Photo: UTeM“According to a report by the United Nations International Centre For Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC), our country is still under the “awaiting validation” status. Meanwhile our neighbouring Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Phillipines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia have already been on the database way ahead of us,” said Adlan.

One of the reasons why our country is lacking in structured TVET education is because currently seven ministries and almost all state governments are running it.

Adlan strongly feels that this stands in the way of proper establishment for TVET governance, which is one the requirements to be fulfilled before Malaysia can be listed on the World TVET Database.

Fortunately, the government has realised the importance of TVET education, and has included its agenda as the third core in the 11th Malaysia Plan to elevate human resources development and making TVET transformation an identified focus field.

TVET lecturers around the country also collaborated to create a structure for the TVET education.

“Starting from a small fund of research grant and a small group of individuals, we have managed to collaborate together and developed the National Occupational Skills Standard (NOSS) for TVET Lecturers, Trainers and Educators. The NOSS has been recently approved and the name of the NOSS is TVET Implementation and Development,” he said, and members of the organisation include lecturers from UTeM, UniKL, UniMAP, Malaysia Science Academy and many other agencies.

As for adapting to Industry 4.0, TVET providers have seriously reviewed their existing programme’s objectives and learning outcomes to ensure FIR is well-stated and learned.

In the case of UTeM, they have recently reviewed its academic programmes at the university level, as well as offering new academic programmes that are tailored and suited towards the FIR.

Malaysia is yet to achieve a validated status by UNEVOC.Malaysia is yet to achieve a validated status by UNEVOC.

In order for the government to decide which industries must be focused in the current TVET education, all ministries and state governments must work with the Ministry Of Human Resource, under the Industry Skills Committee (Jawatankuasa Kemahiran Industri – JKI) and Skills Development Department (Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran – JPK).

“That way, we can detect what industries are potentially booming in the country and internationally, what industries are currently lacking competent workers what level of position the industries are lacking such as managers, engineers and technicians,” opined Adlan.

Most TVET graduates will be working in small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs). However, according to the Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC), ICT adoption by SMEs in Malaysia is a mere 10%. This is in stark contrast to other developed countries where the adoption stands at 50%. To meet the technological demands of Industry 4.0, ICT education must be taught to TVET students as well.

“Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) has got to be given more roles and obligations, to ensure FIR is well within reach of the SMEs and very objective to be achieved.

“The partnership / collaboration between industries – TVET institutions must be made top priority because as far as I’m concerned, the existing scenarios are not that encouraging as the industries are focusing on meeting their production target, while the TVET institutions are focusing on their ‘on-paper only’ planning,” he explained.

The key to implementing TVET education in Malaysia, according to Adlan, is awareness. Industries must support the government’s plans and aspirations, helping the workers grow, and making the country’s TVET on par with the developed countries.

“At national level, we may talk about TVET and FIR but at the production and manufacturing ground level, I believe the awareness are still below par. With the existing global economic scenarios and Malaysian currency exchange, industries tends to commit on productions cum profits rather than focusing on TVET and Industry 4.0,” he shared with Malaysian Digest.

As Adlan highlighted, looking at the big picture is one thing but what about the actual situation on the ground? Malaysian Digest looks at the measures taken by local vocational training organizations to ensure their students can be at the forefront of the coming fourth industrial revolution.

GiatMara’s Role In Enhancing Skills, Knowledge Of The Nation’s Youth

GIATMARA is a government institution providing technical and vocational skills training to youths in rural and urban areas. Their aim is to ensure the students are equipped with the valuable skills to become technical entrepreneurs and workforce in fulfilling the country’s industrial needs.

In understanding how GIATMARA is helping the youths to adapt to today’s challenges created by FIR, Malaysian Digest contacted Dato’ Arman Azha, the deputy chairman of GIATMARA.

Dato' Arman Azha.Dato’ Arman Azha.“GIATMARA focuses on hands-on education, rather than theory-based reading. We have 231 GIATMARA centers all over the country,” he briefed Malaysian Digest.

Before the implementation of TVET education by Datuk Seri Najib Razak two years ago, GIATMARA created 22,000 graduates annually. Out of the 22,000 graduates, only 10% will be entrepreneurs, while the rest will be working in factories and workshops.

“However, since about one year ago, we decided to teach entrepreneurship skills to our students as well. From there, we created a course called Mobilepreneur Muda (Young Mobilepreneurs) in collaboration with Minister of Rural and Regional Development,” explained Dato’ Armand, in which the aim of the programme is at least 50% of their graduates will become SME entrepreneurs.

On top of the normal vocational lessons, the qualified students under this program will receive some assistance in the form of free motorbikes to help them move around, as well as equipment related to their vocational training. More importantly, they are taught to utilise technology to promote themselves in the digital market and adapt to the challenges of FIR.

In the past, GIATMARA provided small financial assistance to its graduates in helping them adapt to the industry. However, many of them mismanaged the money, so the organisation decided to help with other form of assistance.

“Instead of providing financial assistance, this programme is much more efficient and cheaper as well. In six months, the students under the programme must show their progress after we helped them.

“If they are doing well, then the equipment and motorbike will be given to them for free. On the other hand, if they failed to utilise our assistance well, we have the right to take the motorbike back,” he explained.

Mobilepreneur Muda intends to help vocational graduates in kickstarting their business.Mobilepreneur Muda intends to help vocational graduates in kickstarting their business.

This year alone, the programme has helped 3,000 young TVET enterpreneurs. Other than creating new programmes, GIATMARA also revises their curriculum and creates new courses to adapt to today’s demands that are shaped by the FIR.

New courses include aircraft maintenance, heavy machine maintenance and many others that are in high demand.

GIATMARA also realises the crucial role of technology in creating successful SMEs, and students are encouraged to make full use of the technology such as social media and smartphone applications to promote their businesses.

“In facing the FIR, we are providing digital courses as well, such as online marketing and graphic design.

“GIATMARA also revises our courses from time to time to ensure our courses remain relevant with today’s technological demands,” he concluded.

Introducing TVET Education To Tahfiz Students To Prepare For Industry 4.0

Maahad Tahfiz Vokasional Aman Bistari in Puchong.Maahad Tahfiz Vokasional Aman Bistari in Puchong.

One of the main points in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recently launched TVET initiative is to introduce TVET educational to tahfiz students as value add for them, whereby besides memorising the Quran, they would also have valuable trade skills.

The initiative is highly lauded by Mohd Asri Yunus, founder and principal of Maahad Tahfiz Vokasional Aman Bistari, a group of tahfiz schools in Malaysia that teaches not only Islamic knowledge, but vocational training as well.

Mohd Asri Yunus.Mohd Asri Yunus.“The first school was founded back in 2009. At first, we only taught culinary skills to our students. Over the years, we have expanded to nine vocational courses on top of culinary, such as sewing, calligraphy, animation, automotive repair, and farming,” explained Mohd Asri to Malaysian Digest.

While the students are learning the vocational skills, Islamic knowledge is at the core of the school’s basic education.

Maahad Tahfiz Vokasional Aman Bistari is the first vocational tahfiz center in the country, and since their inception have grown to six campuses all over Malaysia.

Students in the culinary hall.Students in the culinary hall.

A vocational institution graduate himself and former oil-and-gas employee, Mohd Asri was requested by the late Kelantan chief minister Tuan Guru Nik Aziz to transform traditional tahfiz center systems into a more modern system, one that teaches skills outside of religious knowledge as well.

“The syllabus that is taught in our centers is on par with the ones being taught at normal vocational institutions. Our equipment is industrial-grade, and we have spent more than RM60,000 to equip our schools.

“Even for our teachers, our tahfiz center hires industry veterans with certified qualifications and years of experience. For example, our culinary teachers are consultants to Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) and many universities,” he said. In the future, the tahfiz center aims to create hospitality and mold-and-die manufacturing courses.

The center takes in students up to 17 years old, and prides itself of being a tahfiz center that teaches worldly skills on top of religious knowledge.

According to Mohd Asri, students in his center are less likely to lose interest in memorising the Quran as they are also taught interesting courses in between Quranic lessons.

The skills taught to the students are designed so that once they graduate, they can immediately work in their respective fields. The culinary students of the tahfiz center run their own conventional catering service for weddings and special functions, and the sewing students also take up orders from customers outside the tahfiz center so that the students can develop their skills to be marketable.

The students providing catering service to a special function.The students providing catering service to a special function.

“We emphasise hands-on approach. They prepare all the foods that the students eat, and the students sewed their own clothes as well. Once the students have been with us for more than a year, they will be sent to the industry for on-the-job training.”

The center is registered under the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) and receives funding from the parents, corporate sponsorships and state government. Even though their education is separate from the national school system, the students can take their SPM examinations when they are 18 years old.

Mohd Asri encourages other tahfiz centers to develop vocational education as well, however he admits that creating such education is not easy.

“For one, hiring the right teachers is difficult. Many qualified individuals refuse to work with tahfiz centers, and sometimes, the tahfiz centers have issues with hiring teachers that are not of religious background.

“For me, I do not care whether the teachers are religious or not. We only employ them for their expertise, and sometimes the teachers can learn religious matters from the students as well,” he relayed to Malaysian Digest.

Other challenges include high cost of starting vocational education, but Mohd Asri has seen tahfiz centers taking their own initiatives to help their students learn much-needed vocational skills. Some centers have collaborated with their local vocational centers and community colleges to teach the tahfiz students.

Many of Aman Bistari’s graduates have found jobs or even started their own businesses thanks to the skills learned while they were in the center. Mohd Asri hopes that his center can be an example for other tahfiz centers to follow to add value to their students, and embrace the call to TVET education by Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

— Malaysian Digest

Thai & Malaysia students to gain from Taiwan’s policy

More scholarships offered to academic staff and students from the region.

TAIWAN’S NEW “Southbound” policy will mean more educational opportunities for people from all Asean countries, including Thailand.

“In line with the policy, our government will offer more scholarships for academic staff and students from Southeast Asian nations to boost the development of the region’s human resource,” said Taiwanese Education Minister Pan Wen-chung.

Fifteen scholarships are being granted via the Thai Ministry of Education, which is also covering Bt20,000 personal expenses per month for Masters Degree students and Bt15,000 for undergraduate students besides a Bt40,000 contribution towards the tuition fees.

“We want to help Thai lecturers, most of whom have Masters Degrees to study for their PhD in Taiwan via this scholarship scheme,” said Pan. “We are also creating a platform for Thai and Taiwanese universities to work together and we are also organising human resources training.”

Taiwan would expand its foreign student quota, particularly for those from Asean countries, in the academic year 2018, he added.

In 2016, Taiwan granted 193 scholarships for undergraduates from Asean countries. while also giving a further 984 language learning scholarships and 100 scholarships for lecturers from these countries.

In that same period, Taiwan had 12,000 students from Malaysia, 5,000 students from Indonesia, 4,700 students from Vietnam and 1,700 students from Thailand. The ministry expected the number of Asean students to rise in future.

Besides scholarships, Taiwan also offered human resources training for Asean countries on various subjects, including academic, industry, vocational promotion or executives’ business administration, Pan said. “What Taiwan wants is to pass on its experience and knowledge to Asean countries,” Pan said, adding that Taiwan was looking at hiking Taiwan-Asean investments in education to a value of Bt1 billion.

President Tsai Ing-wen administration’s “new southbound policy”, which came from a proposal by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was clear that a priority should be to strengthen ties with Southeast Asian nations and India, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

As some critics feared this policy might not last long if Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party, also known as Kuomintang, won power, Pan affirmed the policy would remain as it concerned education. This policy was also useful to Taiwan, he said citing the increase in the number of visitors from Southeast Asia to Taiwan, which is safe and friendly to visitors.

Taiwan’s capital Taipei is home to 100,000 foreign partners and children of Taiwanese nationals. The biggest immigrant group is Vietnamese, followed by Indonesian, Myanmar and Thai.

To help educate them in their original languages the ministry would add Asean language courses in primary schools, Pan said.

Starting in 2019, every primary school in Taiwan will include seven Asean languages as elective subjects: Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Burman, Indonesian, Cambodian and Filipino.

Besides the private businesses in Taiwan those in the wooden furniture industry also want to invite Asean people for training in furniture design and related technology.

“Many Taiwanese have invested in Southeast Asia. We have capital and technology but we don’t have the raw materials. So we are ready and willing to train new people if the government can promote this as an educational scheme under the new southbound policy,” said Mauson Industrial Co’s general manager Hsu Michael.

Jason Huang, director of the Taiwan Woodworking Machinery Association in Taichung City, said businesspeople were ready to train Asean people as many had already invested in the region.

The association has supported an industrial-academic cooperation training programme in furniture and carpentry at National Taipei University of Technology and next year, 40 Vietnamese students will undergo one-year vocational training course there.

At National Formosa University, a well-known technical institute in Huwei District, Yunlin County, study programmes in engineering and technology are popular among students from Southeast Asia.

Most of the foreign students were Chinese Malaysians who were studying undergraduate programmes as the university .

One lecturer, Assistant Professor Arnold Wang, said 18 Malaysian students were studying a programme comprising eight months of teaching classes and four months of internship.

Two of these students would be awarded full tuition coverage based on highest grade averages.

The university also wants to introduce courses at Malaysian institutes with a high population of Chinese Malaysian students, such as Taylor’s University Subang Jaya in the Malaysian State of Selangor.

A Malaysian student identified only as Daniel said he chose to study at Formosa due to its prestigious mechanical engineering courses and the opportunity of internship at a real workplace. He said being taught in the Chinese language posed no difficulty to him and although it was more expensive than studying in Malaysia, Daniel said it was worth it.

Another student, Chan Kwan Chen from the Malaysian State of Kedah, agreed, saying that studying in Taiwan offered new opportunities and experiences compared with studying in his home country.

Having some relatives in Thailand, the young man said he knew too little about Thai institutes and hoped to learn more.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com