KUCHING: Sarawakians do not have high regard for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) qualifications, a state minister said today.
State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin said TVET training and qualifications were looked down upon by parents as being inferior to academic qualifications.
School leavers also did not place much value on TVET training, he said during the closing ceremony of Worldskill Malaysia Sarawak 2019.
“Every year, Sarawak has between 35,000 and 38,000 school leavers with SPM qualifications and of these only about 20,000 to 25,000 further their studies in tertiary institutions or do skills training in TVET institutions.
“Between 10,000 and 15,000 of these SPM school leavers do not undertake any further studies or training and enter directly into the job market often doing jobs that pay low wages and have little prospect for advancement,” he said.
Therefore, he said, it was the state education, science and technological research ministry’s main agenda to promote TVET and skills training as an equally attractive career development pathway.
Among the initiatives taken were through the Sarawak career and training fair, TVET symposium and TVET camps.
Another key programme by his ministry to raise the status of TVET was through the Worldskill Malaysia Sarawak competition, which is organised once in two years, he said.
The Worldskill Malaysia Sarawak was held to recognise and acknowledge the skills and competencies of Sarawak’s youths and to raise awareness about the value of vocational education and training as well as careers for those with skills training.
Well, not only Sarawakians look down on TVET, it’s the society in general, not limited to Malaysia but other developing countries as well.
Not easy to change the social stigma of the public as it’s been drilled in most parents mind that TVET is only for dropouts & those who are academically poor. And perhaps some jobs are deemed to be 3D (dangerous, dirty & difficult) (eg motor mechanics, underwater welding, electrician, construction worker etc).
But with so many academic graduates coming out jobless & statistics showing that TVET graduates are highly employable (>90%), don’t you think that you as either parents or students should give TVET courses & jobs a second look or maybe even the 1st choice, if your interest is, in baking, sewing, woodworking, repairing cars etc?
And now TVET graduates are given the opportunity to even further study to university level with the offering of Bachelor of Technology programs by members of Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN) or management related degrees to enable TVET/skill graduates to graduate into management level. Don’t you agree that if you have hard (technical) & soft (management, communication, entrepreneurship) skills, you would be even better that those academic graduates who are mainly only good in non-technical skills?
Feel free to give your input 😀