PETALING JAYA: Centre for Global Affairs Malaysia (Icon) president Abdul Razak Baginda has suggested that Malaysia implement a hybrid system of education which combines vocational and academic training.
He was commenting on the country’s high number of unemployed graduates.
Recently, Bernama reported that 54,103 graduates were unemployed last year even after six months of completing their studies.
Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh said the number was based on the Graduands Detection Survey System (SKPG), which recorded 238,187 students at institutions of higher learning had completed their studies last year.
Speaking to FMT, Razak said part of the problem was that the education system in the country was too streamlined.
“Not everyone is going to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon.
“On the other hand, we do have vocational schools but we don’t have vocational schools at a higher level.
“That means that if you go to a vocational school, then you are doomed to be a mechanic from a certain level for the rest of your life. There are very few avenues for you to go above that.”
He noted that universities offered internship programmes but said this wasn’t enough.
He said a hybrid system was being practised in some advanced countries such as Germany, but civil servants in Malaysia weren’t creative enough to think of such a solution.
“We should be more creative and think of a hybrid system which is 50% vocational training and 50% academic training,” he said.
“Some people say that when you graduate from a university, you know how bicycles are made but you don’t know how to ride a bicycle. So what’s the point?
“The idea of a hybrid system is you can ride a bicycle and you know how it works, and at the same time you know how to repair it.”