Tag Archives: Dr Maszlee Malik

TVET graduates employability on the rise

Continuous efforts in strengthening technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has yielded success, according to the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Annual Report 2018. — NSTP/ASWADI ALIAS.By Sarah RahimHana Naz Harun – July 29, 2019 @ 7:34pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Continuous efforts in strengthening technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has yielded success, according to the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Annual Report 2018.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the significant achievements include an increase in TVET graduates’ employability from 12,803 in 2017 to 13,740 last year (2018).

Since helming the ministry, various initiatives were introduced to make TVET a career pathway of choice among students.

The initiatives include having a TVET Empowerment Committee to develop a new policy relevant to industrial needs, apprenticeship, professional certification, entrepreneurship and community college certification pathways.

The ministry also collaborates with industry players, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd, as well as Pondok Perdana to empower and value-add the skills of ‘pondok’ students through structured and organised programmes.

Maszlee was presenting the annual report at Sasana Kijang. Also present was Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

He also said the pioneer Zero Dropouts programme had reduced the percentage of dropouts by 26.1 per cent for secondary students and 25.6 per cent for primary students.

“Perlis succeeded in getting 100 per cent dropouts to enrol back in schools from August to November last year,” he said.

Among other highlights include a jump in national pre-school enrolment from 84.3 per cent in 2017 to 85.4 per cent last year.

Maszlee also said the number of schools which had excelled in incorporating the Higher Order Thinking Skills rose from 13 in 2017 to 189 last year.

Despite the achievements, Maszlee said there were still overall improvements that were needed.

He said the ministry still faced various challenges on culture, monitoring and resolution, and the ability to effectively engage stakeholders.

“In my opinion, these challenges are the main cause as to why some of the initiatives have been interrupted or stopped.”

Maszlee also said the ministry was looking into the blueprint to ensure of its relevance.

“We have the same vision and mission, but we need to drastically improve our execution,” he said, adding that the National Education Policy Review Committee had found after a six-month evaluation that although the blueprint was still relevant, there were several bold changes that needed to be carried out.

“It is not the time yet to reveal the details of the suggestions by the committee but the basic concept would include realigning the grading approach based on age or single education pathway,” he said, adding that a complete report was expected to be ready by year end.

Source: www.nst.com.my

Look at bigger picture, says Maszlee

Photo for representation only

KUALA LUMPUR: MORE than 5,000 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses and science courses offered by universities, polytechnics and technical universities have not been taken up.

Although those courses have greater job prospects, students are not enrolling in those classes.

They include sustainability science, applied plant science, forest resource technology, product development technology, natural resources science, agribusiness, applied physics, industrial chemical technology and business engineering.

Since 2017, 1,251 courses in public universities have been suspended or cancelled. This number is almost 30 per cent of the total courses offered in public universities.

“Maybe it’s not ‘sexy’ enough, but students don’t understand that those courses allow them to be employed even before they graduate,” said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik in an interview with the New Straits Times Press.

He cited the cybersecurity course offered by Politeknik Mersing, where students could gain employment even before graduating.

“But when it comes to TVET courses, people do not understand as it is a term that explains everything under the sun, and it may be too vast.

Kolej Vokasional Setapak fashion students staging a show in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, recently. FILE PIC

“What I like to emphasise is that there are jobs available in those courses.”

He also said the number of non-Bumiputera students enrolling in polytechnics and technical institutions was very low, and many were focused on entering matriculation and public universities.

“It’s (matriculation) not the only path. We have Form Six, polytechnics, diploma studies and the Teachers’ Education Institute, which do not have any quota. So now, we want others to look at the bigger picture.”

However, Maszlee said there were weaknesses in the ministry’s steps to disseminate information and guide people through the options. In April, he had said the ministry was looking into rebranding TVET programmes, and this included the possibility of changing its name to a more appealing one.

He said the ministry would make TVET a mainstream education choice for students because they viewed it only as a second option and believed it might not help them much in the future.

Source: www.nst.com.my

Comment: Poor public perception aside, I think following are few other issues:
1. The Education Ministry & Human Resource Ministry has not been promoting enough about TVET courses & it’s future & more importantly, effectively.
2. If I’m not mistaken, entrance requirements to these universities, polytechnics and technical universities still requires a pass in SPM BM & History or 3 credits. This actually deprives many SKM or DKM holders who may not qualify academically but yet they are the ones that are inclined to further their study in these technical courses.

TVET, a stepchild no more

Students of Politeknik Ungku Omar get hands on training on automotive engineering at the workshop at their campus in Ipoh.

Students of Politeknik Ungku Omar get hands on training on automotive engineering at the workshop at their campus in Ipoh.

A framework has been proposed to address the long-standing problems of our TVET system

A NEW framework for technical and vocational training is in the pipelines.

If approved, the proposal will see a more streamlined, effective, and industry-relevant, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) system.

Proposed by the National TVET Movement to the Economic Planning Unit last month, the framework aims to address the country’s ailing TVET system.

“Our focus is on upper secondary school students. We want to create a TVET champion.

TVET students being trained to be industry-ready. — File photo

TVET students being trained to be industry-ready. — File photo

“We want students to have better access to choices between academics and something more hands-on like TVET. This is what’s happening in other countries,” said Ahmad Tajudin, who recently retired as the Education Ministry deputy director-general.

Among those part of the Movement are the Federation of Human Resources Ministry’s Department of Skills Development (JPK) Accredited Centres (FeMac), National Council of Professors, and the National Parent-Teacher Associations’ Vocational and Technical Consultative Council.

For too long, TVET has been the “troubled stepchild” of the education system, he said.

This framework tackles long-standing problems like the:

> Overlapping of programmes and certifications;

> Misguided focus on post-secondary TVET students instead of upper secondary students;

> Existence of multiple accreditation bodies and agencies implementing TVET;

> High operations cost resulting from the many ministries involved;

> Weak policies; and

> Private TVET providers being treated as competitors.

“All TVET institutions should be streamlined, rationalised, and consolidated, under the Education Ministry.

“This ensures that teachers and trainers are better taken care of under one scheme of service. And, there won’t be a need to close down any institutions if all facilities and resources are under one roof,” he said, adding that it would also be more cost effective for the Government while ensuring smoother communication between the industry and institutions.

Other reforms proposed by the Movement include:

> Reducing existing certifications to an important few;

> Having a single accreditation body for TVET;

> Establishing two educational pathways for students to choose from;

> Allowing industries to take the lead;

> Enhancing TVET apprenticeship programmes based on models from other developed countries; and

> Formulating policies and legislations to enhance careers in TVET.

Greater emphasis, and an overview, of TVET implementation is needed, Ahmad Tajudin said.

There should be training provisions to facilitate contributions from private TVET providers, and there must be closer collaboration between the industry and these providers.

“Our TVET system needs stronger institutional coordination, and greater transparency among the multiple public agencies.

“TVET restructuring is a small part of a holistic solution, but it’s a start to the reform,” he said, adding that strong political will from the Government was crucial to ensure the country’s TVET success.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the Government would continue enhancing the capabilities of TVET institutions and systems to remain competitive and meet industry demands.

Speaking during his annual new year address in Serdang on Monday, he said the ministry would implement a harmonised accreditation and quality assurance system to enable student mobility in TVET institutions, which includes the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN).

The launch of Limkokwing TVET International, a TVET Malaysia Training Centre at Limkokwing University.MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

The launch of Limkokwing TVET International, a TVET Malaysia Training Centre at Limkokwing University.MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

MTUN, he said, should move in the direction of Fachhochschule – Germany’s tertiary education institution specialising in topical areas.

MTUN, he added, shouldn’t be evaluated solely based on publications, but also on the ability of the graduates produced to solve technical issues.

He said the ministry plans to increase the quality and delivery of TVET by enabling the industry to lead the curriculum development, avoid overlapping of programmes and resources, improve cost effectiveness, and widen the funding to increase enrolment.

He said the ministry was also in the midst of addressing recognition issues involving controversial vocational colleges.

He assured polytechnics and community colleges that they wouldn’t be sidelined in the reform process.

“To ensure the employability of our graduates, closer collaboration between these institutions and the industry – especially with the big players – will be prioritised,” he said, adding that these were part of the ministry’s efforts in making sure that TVET, polytechnics, vocational colleges, and community colleges, are no longer seen as second choice options.

In June last year, Dr Maszlee appointed Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar to chair a special TVET task force.

The duties of the task force, said Dr Maszlee, was to conduct research across all ministries that provide TVET education and training, and recommend how the country’s TVET system can be improved. This includes a review of TVET education and training laws, and the possibility of a TVET commission.

However, the TVET industry was left reeling following Nurul Izzah’s resignation as PKR vice president on Dec 17, and her decision to no longer serve the federal government in any capacity.

“We’ll continue advocating for a sustainable and effective TVET implementation,” said Ahmad Tajudin.

Source: www.thestar.com.my

Comment: It’s good that the Ministry has identified the weaknesses & looking to implement the reforms (personally, I see that our TVET sector would soar to much greater heights compared to now, if reforms are implemented effectively & correctly).

But I have a doubt whether they would reform this particular weakness – Private TVET providers being treated as competitors.

It seems that there are plans to gradually “KILL” the private TVET providers based on their proposed plans (hearsay, so take it with a pinch of salt).


These include but not limited to:

1) Closing all TVET providers that are 2 stars and below after the impending 2019 star rating process (as early as March 2019). It generally affects the smaller private TVET providers who has very limited resources (manpower & finances) vs the public TVET institutions.
2) Closing/revoke Vocational Training Operation (VTO) programme of any private TVET institutions that has does not meet a min of 4 stars and above for that particular programme. Eventually, it would be just offered by the multiple satellite campuses of CIAST, nationwide,
3) Restrict the organising of the JPK’s various induction courses (PP-PPD-PPB, PP-PPT, PPL) to only  CIAST satellite campuses, nationwide.
4) and BEYOND – perhaps you can comment if you think what they are doing/planning to do is gonna KILL the private TVET providers.

Hello Industrial Revolution 4.0! ― Nurul Izzah Anwar

Nurul Izzah says reforming TVET requires thinking beyond courses and institutions. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Nurul Izzah says reforming TVET requires thinking beyond courses and institutions. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 ― Seven ministries. Two Malaysia National Plans. More than RM10 billion spent in a span of three years, from 2015 to 2017. And where is TVET now? Plagued by stories of thousands of stranded, unqualified youths, awaiting placement and promise of a better future.

Regardless the state of affairs, everyone who cares about Malaysia’s future should support TVET as a means to empower Malaysia’s young ― in line with our upcoming embrace of Industrial Revolution 4.0.

Yesterday, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced my pro bono-related appointment as the head of the national taskforce on reforming our country’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme.

Today, the head of NUTP decides it was a non-starter, considering the mammoth powers required to structurally reform our TVET sector.

NUTP is certainly not wrong in raising concern on the viability of action pertaining to the Pandora’s box-filled TVET.

I recall a conversation with the Secretary-General of Youth and Sports Ministry, Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali, who filled with excitement, planned for our Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) to adopt IR 4.0 as part of its curriculum.

Clearly, to bear fruition, the new government would have to continue with worthier initiatives of its predecessor ― transparently, accountably and efficiently.

To succeed, we need all quarters onboard. This is our Malaysia. It requires all of us to make anything work.

Reforming TVET requires us to think bigger than just courses and institutions.

At its very heart, while we accept the fact that people come with different talents in this world, we have a system that only measures and rewards one, academic talent.

And students who don’t make the cut are thrown into a barrel we now call the TVET system.

This is a systemic problem. And we should treat it as such.

Few would dispute the necessity of TVET in a modern economy; through formal and informal learning, TVET seeks to train and equip individuals with technical skills for the purposes of employment within certain industries.

While conventional education obtained through completion of university remains relevant, the incorporation of TVET as a mainstream option is of equal importance for young Malaysians seeking technical expertise for the working world. TVET is also effective for developing a sustainable, inclusive and socially equitable society and thus should be central to plans for educational reform in Malaysia.

Although TVET has existed in various forms since the 10th and 11th Malaysia Plan, the reality is these efforts have been seriously disjointed in their implementation and are in dire need of thorough structural reforms.

TVET has almost been an afterthought, with incoherent policies often in conflict with each other. Current TVET efforts for example, are supply driven which sees individuals trained in certain skills first prior to any work placement, leading to a severe mismatch of skills and industry. Elsewhere, funding is usually wholly dependent on the government, a dependency which suggests a lack of focus on TVET should funds begin to dry up, as vocational training has not been a priority of the government in the past. Certification to this point has been optional for both individuals seeking work and businesses, which has led to a lack of standards in employment. Trainers involve in TVET have also lacked the quality required for those in their office, lacking clear industry expertise while usually poorly trained themselves. Additionally, synchronization with tertiary education has been found wanting, making it difficult for those with TVET skills and certification to pursue university degrees and higher learning.

Revamping TVET has always been a key goal for Pakatan Harapan, included in the manifesto where we have promised to develop technical and vocational schools to be on par with other streams making it a viable option or alternative to all. This includes setting up a full-board TVET school for outstanding students from all walks of life enabling greater access to opportunity for Malaysians.

Alongside these manifesto promises, significant overhaul is needed for TVET implementation both in the long and short term especially if we hope to make significant progress before by year end. We should look to adopt international best practices as has begun in Penang with the implementation of the German Dual Vocational Training (GDVT).

This scheme offers financial incentives to companies that offer industrial training and/or internships to TVET students. This is reflective of a demand-based approach, where industries are committed to offering apprenticeships based on their own requirements and TVET institutions meeting that demand.

This helps to ensure individuals are equipped with relevant skills and assured to a strong degree of employment, representing an efficient outcome for everyone involved.

Industries and chambers should lead the way as they are best positioned to know the needs of the economy, supported by federal and state governments. Reducing the dependence on the government for both financial and institutional support compliments an industry-driven approach with the state providing assistance as necessary.

Policy reform is thus the best approach for government, creating favourable conditions for TVET institutions and providing incentives to both trainers and trainees, while ensuring coordination between industries and training centres.

With proper oversight, coordinated by the Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran under the Ministry of Human Resources, work will be done to ensure proper certification at all levels of both training and business. Where certification was previously optional, it should now be made mandatory in order for those with TVET training to find employment as well as for businesses to be eligible to hire TVET graduates.

Such standardisation of qualifications is long overdue if we want to treat TVET with the same seriousness and respect accorded to tertiary education. Alongside this is better integration and crossovers with academic pathways to provide more opportunities for those who wish to further their formal education to enhance themselves as individuals or change their career entirely.

At present, a lack of integration and accreditation prevents TVET graduates from qualifying from degree programmes at universities. The Penang state government has sought to address this by introducing short term measures aimed at providing accreditation, measures that can further be improved with concerted federal support.

These policy suggestions barely scratch the surface of the potential of TVET, one that can be harnessed to the total benefit of Malaysia and Malaysians through an inclusive approach and better engagement with all stakeholders. These steps will go a long way to dial back on the stigma against TVET and its graduates through better integration in the economy, helping to increase their economic value and ultimately providing better wages.

A holistic improvement of education in Malaysia includes the recognition and enhancement of TVET, elevating it to a status equivalent or superior to traditional tertiary education.

We must demonstrate that a university education does not have to be the be-all-end-all goal for many Malaysians, that many alternatives exist alongside these options, while a system that has for so long practiced various forms of exclusion shall now be expanded to ensure no Malaysians are left behind.

The mandate given to me is to come up with a report on structurally reforming TVET before one year is up. I’ll make sure post engaging with stakeholders, we will have a clear operational step by step action plan.

I urge NUTP to be as loud and demanding as they are today. Time and tide waits for no ministers in implementing much needed reforms.

Malaysians, say hello to industrial revolution 4.0!

*Nurul Izzah Anwar is MP for Permatang Pauh, vice-president and co-elections director for Keadilan. Nurul Izzah wrote this for Malay Mail.