KUANTAN: The sky is the limit for Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). Ranked among the top 800 best universities in the world based on the QS World University Rankings (WUR) 2020, UMP is aiming to become a leader in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country.
Last year, it emerged as the first local technical and non-research university to receive the prestigious QS 5-star overall rating award.
UMP Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Wan Azhar Wan Yusoff said the university had become a platform to produce a well-trained technical workforce with skills that catered to the future.
This was attributed to the varsity being part of the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN) alongside Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka and Universiti Malaysia Perlis.
“UMP is strengthening its high-end TVET and moving forward to emerge as the pinnacle for TVET education. We are moving towards producing a home-grown workforce that caters to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.
“One is not required to be smart, but skilful and multitalented. It is about learning specific skills through repetitive practice on different equipment, machines or systems.
“We want the public, especially parents, to give importance to TVET as some view it as a back-up option for their children. MTUN helps graduates to become more capable at sophisticated tasks, which will be required for the future job market.”
Wan Azhar said UMP would be offering a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Railway Maintenance) programme to cater to the burgeoning sector.
“As long as there are trains in the country, we will require railway maintenance technologists. We cannot remove these railway infrastructures, so we have to produce a skilled workforce for this sector.”
In a move to bring out the best of TVET, UMP will carry out a minor restructuring exercise in its campuses in Gambang and Pekan next year.
Wan Azhar said the Gambang campus would be renamed the UMP College of Engineering and College of Management and Humanities, while the Pekan campus would be renamed the College of Engineering Technology and College of Computing and Science.
“We have equipment and facilities in Pekan, and this allows our students to be hands-on when it comes to TVET. UMP Pekan will serve as a technology campus and this is part of our efforts to achieve our goals in TVET.”
UMP graduates are able to secure employment with companies that have business links with Germany following an academic collaboration for a postgraduate degree in mechanical engineering and automotive engineering with the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA).
UMP Chancellor Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah will be presenting the scrolls to graduates at the 14th UMP convocation today.
A total of 3,778 graduates will receive their scrolls during the two-day ceremony.
The event will be historic as Tan Sri Dr Abi Musa Asaari Mohamed Nor will be proclaimed as UMP’s pro-chancellor, while HeiTech Padu Bhd executive chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hilmey Mohd Taib will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Information Technology.
Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) (www.ump.edu.my) has recently partnered with the Asia Centre of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) to cooperate and collaborate on activities in connection with accelerating the adoption of related smart technologies and digital initiatives of the fourth industrial revolution (now popularly referred to as Industry Revolution 4.0, or IR4.0) – especially where it concerns human capital development in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) of Malaysia, and in Southeast Asia, generally.
Based at the Cybercentre in Pahang Technology Park (PTP), ACES is an initiative between ECER Development Council (ECERDC) and Germany’s TUM International GmbH – a networking of government agencies, industry players and academic institutions – to boost technical and vocational education and training (TVET), as well as to enhance smart technology skills, training and consultancy, specifically in the digitalization and automation processes under IR4.0.
TUM International is essentially the subsidiary of Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany’s top-ranking university based on the ‘QS World University Ranking’ and one of the best universities in Europe.
It is well regarded as a leading provider for the development, coordination and operation of integrated science and industry clusters as well as technology transfer and talent management programmes with international partners from research, politics and industry.
Leveraging TUM International’s experience and expertise, ECERDC will be collaborating to provide technical blueprints and roadmap, trainings, certifications, as well as advisory and consulting works for the introduction and upscaling of technology in various fields within the private and public sector for IR4.0, as well as other innovative and smart technologies.
The tripartite collaboration, sealed vide a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Germany on October 17, 2019, saw UMP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ir. Dr. Wan Azhar Wan Yusoff signed on behalf of the university, whilst Chief Executive Officers (CEO) Baidzawi Che Mat and Daniel Gottschald represented ECERDC and TUM International, respectively.
Present to witness the MoU was Malaysia Minister of Education, Dr. Maszlee Malik, who was on official working visit to Germany.
FOR the nation to move forward in tandem with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) and beyond, there is a clear need for a well-trained technical workforce with skill sets that are present- and future-ready as well as future-resilient.
Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) programmes have always been seen as the vehicle to prepare aptly-skilled human capital but somehow the general perspective is that they fall short in terms of the level of skills and knowledge needed for the industry to forge ahead.
Graduates who have qualified from TVET institutions previously do not have a clear career pathway to further their studies and secure jobs that are highly technical in nature.
To create more career pathways and opportunities for TVET students, the Education Ministry with the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN) comprising four universities — Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) , Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) , Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) — and the professional body for technologists and technicians, the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT), have collaborated in establishing newly developed Bachelor of Technology Degree (BTech) programmes in specific technology fields.
Some universities have introduced several of the courses last month at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year while other universities will make the courses available in September next year.
The articulation process entails matching the courses, requirements and coursework at vocational colleges with that at higher education institutions.
“KVs start enrolling students as young as 16, post PMR/PT3 examination towards Diploma Vokasional Malaysia (DVM) through Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) without SPM. That posed a problem for the graduates should they decide to pursue a Bachelor’s degree and beyond at public universities. Other than that they often face difficulty in transitioning from TVET-based education to an academic-based degree programme,” he explained.
The entry level requirement for BTech programmes in MTUN is not based solely on SPM qualification, Ahmad Zaidee highlighted.
For DVM graduates, most of the candidates have taken the equivalency courses to SPM’s Bahasa Melayu dan Sejarah, namely Bahasa Melayu 1104 as well as Sejarah 1251. For DKM and DLKM graduates, most of the students have taken SPM which already includes Bahasa Melayu and Sejarah.
In any case this nation-building initiative is not met, MTUN has agreed the student can enrol for the courses during their tenure years of BTech studies.
“MBOT through Technicians Act 2015 (Act 768) has established the Technology & Technical Accreditation Council (TTAC). This is a Joint Technical Committee with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to perform accreditation on professional technology and technical programmes. The council has published a Technology & Technical Accreditation Manual 2019 (TTAC MANUAL) for a comprehensive guideline for education providers (EP) to design and develop their programmes in the advanced technological fields,” he said.
UniMAP Academic Management Office dean Professor Dr Anuar Mat Safar said the availability of BTech programmes for DVM and DKM qualification holders is timely.
“It is estimated there are 50,000 students graduating with DVM and DKM every year. With the availability of BTech programmes, these students can obtain Bachelor’s degree-level qualifications as per required to face the challenges of IR 4.0,” he said.
The main difference between BTech and conventional degree programmes is that the former were developed based on occupational requirement while the latter are more discipline-based, UTeM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Wira Dr Raha Abdul Rahim explained.
“In conventional degree, fundamental and technological courses such as mathematics, physics etc are taught separately. In BTech programmes, the focus is for a graduate to perform a task in the work environment, hence fundamental and technological knowledge that is usually taught in different courses are embedded into a course on a particular competency set,” she said.
For example, she illustrated that a BTech Welding programme comprises a course of Welding inspection that combines elements of mathematics, physics, material studies, and local laws accordingly rather than have the subjects taken in separate courses, as with conventional programmes.
UTHM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Wahid Razzaly, meanwhile, explained that the current delivery or execution of BTech programmes uses the approach of Work Based Learning (WBL) in block released manner. This means the students undergo their studies in two phases: two and a half years at university and another year in the industry.
“The curriculum structure is towards preparing students into industry 4.0 in line with the Program Educational Objective, which is to produce technologist, technopreneur and entrepreneurship.
As such, the success ratio of higher graduate employability is ensured as the students will have a structured WBL courses in the industry itself within a year before they graduate,” he said.
He said another delivery approach via apprenticeship is still in the development progress. The idea is to have workers upgrade their qualifications by studying two days in university and working three days.
UMP Center for Academic Innovation & Competitiveness (CAIC) director Associate Professor Dr Mohd Rusllim Mohamed, who is a director of the MBOT Technology and Technical Accreditation Secretariat, observed that MoE and the Ministry of Human Resources have been working closely to ensure the programmes are running accordingly.
“So far, the government has distributed some budget for reskilling and upskilling of existing lecturers, mentoring training for industry workers, and the implementation of a newly developed concept of teaching factory — University Revaluation Teaching Factory (URTF). Here, students are involved in industry production line, thus creating valuable experiential learning even before they graduate,” he said.
He related that MoE has approached the Malaysian German Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MGCCI) to become a strategic partner to BTech’s MTUN, so that the programmes can be further improved to meet the German standards.
“With MGCCI on board, all of its over 400 companies’ partners would be willing to be part of the ministry’s TVET empowerment agenda,” he said.
To improve the quality of teaching and learning based on IR 4.0, Anuar said UniMAP is currently applying to develop a teaching plant through the URTF effort.
“This involves practical sessions of industrial design, engineering design and 3D printing at this teaching plant,” said Anuar.
UniMAP’s Faculty of Engineering Technology has also applied for TVET transfer of technology (TOT) for existing lecturers to further enhance their knowledge and skills.
“The main objective of this TOT is to obtain professional certification for lecturers at the faculty. Some laboratories are also proposed to be turned into industrial laboratories, to enable professional certificates to be issued. Training to obtain a teaching professional certificate has also been proposed as one of the TOT TVET agendas to be implemented after this provision is approved,” he said.
At UTHM, Wahid said nine memoranda of understanding and eight letters of intent with related industries have been signed.
“The University-Industry partnerships include those with Siemens, Acson, Carrier, Festo, HardRock Hotel, NIOSH, Binaan Desjaya and Proton. The approach of BTech programmes is to have 60 per cent work-based learning and 40 per cent theory,” he said.
Director of UTeM’s Academic Planning and Development Office Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Fahmi Miskon said with a BTech degree in hand, TVET graduates can also request for appropriate and adequate amount of salaries coherent with the skills that they own.
“It is believed that the competition for fresh graduates to get a job has gotten tougher. Hands-on skills, experience and knowledge are what employers look for today,” he said.
Other than having more students involved in skilled courses, Ahmad Zaidee said it is also very important to get the students to further their studies so that they would be more intellectually improved in many aspects.
“The graduates of these programmes are expected to be employed as soon as they graduate because the programmes are designed to fulfil the needs of the industries.
“The launch of B.Tech programmes in MTUN reflects the government’s commitment in promoting and acknowledging TVET as the driving force in the country’s development. The curriculum is more practical and flexible to meet the challenges of the IR 4.0,” he said.
As the primary professional body for TVET, he said MBOT prepares TVET graduates as technologists and technicians that are readily accepted not just in the local but also the global industry.
“We are establishing our footing in the international arena with other countries via bilateral or multilateral cooperation.
“To date, we have been accepted as provisional signatory for Seoul Accord (multilateral co-accreditation agreement for Information & Computing Technology programmes). MBOT has also taken a proactive step in proposing to pioneer the establishment of APEC Technologists and Technicians Register (ATTR) which is anticipated to be launched next year when Malaysia hosts APEC 2020,” he said.
Comment: It’s not just BTech that DVM/DKM/DLKM graduates can pursue, they can also consider EBIM (Executive Bachelor in Industrial Management), an URise bridging program by Universiti Tun Abdul Razak where Technical Leadership and Industrial Revolution 4.0 are the core learning outcomes.
Executive Bachelor in Industrial Management (EBIM), specializing in Leadership, enable skilled personnel to excel into managerial positions with enhancements in managerial core abilities. The course covers the learning in soft-skills of leadership, managerial abilities, business communication and project management.
For SKM1&2 graduates, they are also not forgotten as their pathway would be to Professional Diploma in Industrial Management.
Truly understanding TVET candidates’ situation, SPM is not a pre-requisite, yay! Another exciting part about the program is that it’s a blended learning, means it’s conducted online and face to face classroom.
For more information, kindly email to firstname.lastname@example.org or whatsapp/call 012-3123430.
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 24 — The Youth and Sports Ministry today exchanged Statements of Understandings with five entities aimed at forging stronger cooperation between the public and private sectors in developing the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) industry.
Witnessed by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, the statements would see the entities play an active role in increasing career opportunities within the sector by offering spots for education and training, while offering technical advice to the ministry.
Among the signatories were Volvo Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Sapura Secured Technologies Companies, Malaysia Industry Association, the Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad, with the cooperation of the Malaysian Prison Department.
Syed Saddiq later stressed the importance of offering former juveniles and minor crime offenders a second chance to reassimilate into society, saying one solution would be to retrain and up-skill them in opportunities within the TVET industry.
“For those who have been categorised as Individuals Under Observation, Henry Gurney leavers, we will give them a special route for them to be trained so in the end, despite them having a record, but they would be trained, re-skilled and up-skilled.
Henry Gurney Schools were set up under the Juvenile Courts Act 1947 to care for young offenders and provide formal education and rehabilitation for juvenile inmates.
“In the end they are able to be placed in companies that we share a relationship with for the TVET program,” he said after launching the SKIL 19’ Skills Symposium at the Youth and Sports Ministry Podium hall this morning.
Syed Saddiq said this and other efforts would be part of his ministry’s two pronged program, MyFuture Youth and MyFuture Youth Plus, aimed at offering reactive programs for former offenders, and proactive programs for youth who are classified within the risky category.
“For those who are in danger of falling into the group of high risk youths, we will put them through an early intervention program with special routes into TVET programmes.
“There will be long and short courses, and in the end they will be offered a job,” he explained.
He also mentioned the importance of the government’s willingness to accept former offenders into the public service, saying such steps have been brought to the attention of the Cabinet.
The Muar MP also revealed amendments to public service requirements are currently being worked out by the Chief Secretary that will see a leeway be added to consider former offenders to enter the civil service.
“This is important because if we see for those who have been jailed before, and those from Henry Gurney, about 50 to 60 per cent are youth, and a majority of them have committed minor crimes.
“But, because they don’t have targeted assistance, and if we forget or sideline them, they will go back into the community and society where their family also does not take them seriously, and not have a job, no direction in their life.
“If we (the government) are also not willing to help out, in the end they will reoffend and reenter into the same system,” he said.
Syed Saddiq stressed on the importance of breaking their cycle of crime and to offer them a second chance to assimilate back into and be a useful member of a developing society.
Additionally, the minister also added how the negative and derogatory perception towards the TVET industry should stop, and instead instil the culture of treating them as equals on par with graduates from public universities.
“If we see in Germany, the youth there are educated from a young age to understand that TVET is on par with those from public universities.
“In Malaysia, we have to instil this culture into the hearts and minds of the youth, and also the parents, as this is important to ensure that TVET will always be one of the most important growth sectors in the new Malaysia.
“But realising that dream would be impossible without the close cooperation between industry players,” he added.
1. Most of the those that took up TVET courses are because they are academically poor & have no where to go (minority do have good academic grades too) 2. TVET jobs are generally low paying, especially in the initial years. However, with recognised certification, experience & good communication + people skills, income can reach 5 figures, eg like chefs, underwater welder, piping expert (O&G industry) or operating own business like dressmaking, hairdressing & beauty salon, automotive workshops. 3. Lack of coordination between TVET institutions and industry on industrial needs also produced mismatch skills of TVET graduates, hence lower pay.
INCHEON: Korean polytechnics are looking forward to work with Malaysia to further develop technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
Korea Polytechnics Education and Training Bureau director-general Cho Sung Hwan said they were ready to help establish TVET schools in Malaysia or develop the system in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), among others.
“We hope that we can offer more assistance to your country,” he told the New Straits Times during a visit to the Korean Polytechnics Incheon campus here.
The visit was part of a one-day internship programme under the 2019 Kwanhun-KPF Press Fellowship in Seoul.
The NST had been selected to represent Malaysia in the month-long fellowship this year.
Journalists from Brunei, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Mongolia, the Philippines and Vietnam also participated in the programme.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had often stressed that TVET must be a top national priority.
He had also said that TVET was a game changer in the government’s efforts to produce a more highly-skilled local workforce.
Elaborating, Korean Polytechnics Industrial Partnership Department director/professor Ahn Jongbok said: “We are always ready to help Malaysia”.
He said they organised annual international technology volunteer programmes where their students would visit Malaysian colleges to share Korea’s technical skills.
He added that they were also looking into developing language exchange programmes between the two countries.
“It is good if we can be of help to your country to further develop TVET,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cho said to change the perception that TVET was associated with “low pay and dirty work”, the Korean polytechnics had been focusing more on IR4.0 compared to fundamental industries like they did in the 1960s.
In the past five decades, Korean polytechnics have trained over 66,000 students, promising an 85.8 per cent employment rate upon graduation.
They have 35 campuses throughout South Korea along with a high school and two training centres.
Besides Malaysia, it also has a network with other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It has also worked with France, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Helping skilled workers secure certification will boost their chances of getting a better salary throughout their career.
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said youths working in the technical and vocational field should not worry about their starting pay as it would be reviewed over time and upon the confirmation of their job.
“The rate of review can be between RM100 and RM500, usually after six months.”
“Malaysia practises a seniority-based wage system with yearly increment. Some developed countries adopted a rate for job payscale. They are paid based on their skills, regardless of seniority,” Shamsuddin said.
He said in Malaysia, employees had honed their skills through work exposure and experience, but even after 15 to 20 years of service, they did not get themselves certified, hence their stagnant wages.
He said this would open workers to exploitation by companies.
“Getting certification would be beneficial for them if they want to quit their job and work at another company.”
“However, there are now electronic fuel injection engines, hybrid cars and electric cars in the market.”
Because of this, he said, institutions needed to upgrade their equipment and teaching methods by working with the private sector.
He added that in the long run, there was a need to look at the whole situation and advocate a skills-based service system, where the skills that employees had would be evaluated by encouraging them to get a certification.
“Their employees’ pay should be based on their skill-level on top of observing the minimum wage,” he said.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers chief executive officer Dr Yeoh Oon Tean said it was important that TVET students enrolled for courses that led to a recognised certification of their skills and offered them a pathway to upgrade themselves in terms of wages and standard of living.
He said the issue faced by employers was a lack of coordination between TVET institutions and industry on industrial needs.
“A wide variation in (education) standards may lead to the continuity of poor public perception of TVET education.
There is a need for a streamlined qualification system that ensures a minimum standard is met and strengthens the confidence of employers and TVET students.”
He said initiatives taken by the TVET Empowerment Cabinet Committee were a positive way to address issues.
Among the initiatives include the establishment of a coordinating and enforcement agency to address the issue of fragmentation of TVET implementation, which cuts across ministries.
“The agency would ensure standardisation of training and qualifications, quality assurance, qualification portability, recognition of prior learning and greater cost effectiveness in the use of resources. It should uplift the status of TVET graduates as skilled craftsman to promote it.”
He said other initiatives could ensure greater industry collaborations in TVET by strengthening public-private partnerships to improve employability and produce industry-ready graduates.
“Industries need to engage in more apprenticeship, internship and work-based learning programmes to prepare students for the working environment. It needs to start early to prevent skills mismatch.”
Yeoh said as long as there was no uniformity in standards and quality, the industry could not be forced to follow a wage guide, which would be determined by the highest level of standards and quality of a qualification.
He said there was a need to address the public’s opinion of the TVET field being less prestigious than a professional qualification.
The ways to do this, Yeoh said, included introducing TVET into the school curriculum as early as primary level; promoting it as a mainstream education rather than for less academically-inclined students, and having trainers with industrial and operational experience.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — In relation to the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed had outlined that there would be an emphasis on skills development as well as technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research’s (MIER) chairman Tan Sri Kamal Salih in concurring with Dr Mahathir said the future called for workers with knowledge and skills and this meant there has to be flexibility in our education system.
“We really want to go forward, the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 requires skills more than general education.
He cited the German dual education system, which Malaysia could benchmark against, where one could be a university student and work in the industry for a while, come back, and complete one’s degree.
“So you gain experience, you know the business world, you know the world of work, even before you graduate, therefore you can direct your reading, and your studies, to learn on what you like, learn from what you do in the industry, during your training,” he said.
He also pointed out Malaysian students’ lack of proficiency in English has been quite critical.
Kamal said other than English, being able to think, talk and communicate is critical especially in industry 4.0 that requires a lot of technology.
“You need to have knowledge. Future work is knowledge-intensive, the 3D jobs — difficult, dangerous, dirty jobs — will eventually be taken over by robots, either in air or in water, or in surface, to detonate bombs, they can fly and sprint, spray the fields and so on, maybe even one day catch fish,” he said.
He said human skills were needed for cognitive thinking, designing, rearranging, executing things and making decisions as well as communication and substance.
“If there is good communication, they’re on the internet, and the coverage is up to the rural areas, women can work from home, and if the home is in a rural area, women don’t have to come to the office, they can look after the children,” he said pointing out women need not drop out of employment to take care of their families.
Kamal Salih said one could work any time because the real-world economy is 24 hours, it’s on the internet. — Bernama
Comment: Many may not be aware that there’s already pathway for non SPM credit holders but with working experience, still can pursue higher education. I’m referring to the genuine local public or local universities (MQA approved programs), not those dubious or outright fake overseas online degrees.
Very soon, there will be a bridging program that caters specifically to TVET graduates with SKM & DKM to obtain a professional diploma or executive degree (minimum 20 years and above) to an IPTS in Klang Valley. Stay tune to this website for further updates or you may email to tvetuni [at] gmail.com with the following info:
1. Name 2. Contact 3. Address 4. SKM/DKM in which program & what level
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 Rahim, Hana 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.
At the moment, several private organisations have been offering courses in various aspects of drone operation; for mapping, facilities inspection, progress report (for property developers and construction projects), film and drama production, news, the acquisition of aerial footage and photographs.
These courses last from two days (for basic operation of a drone) to a few days covering the various aspects of drone piloting for specific purposes such as mapping.
Before the launch of the NOSS Standard, formal government-recognised certification for drone piloting courses were not available for the aspiring pilot.
As the usage of drones expands, beyond a hobby to industrial use, the need for trained pilots who have gone through structured instructions based on an accepted and recognised national standards, become increasingly pressing.
Especially now that the word ‘drone’ appears in the media daily from all over the world; both negative and positive news.
But it is always the negative aspects that capture the public’s imagination and it is up to the industry to dispel negativity and myths that surround drones.
One positive effort is the adoption of formalised training for drone operators; people who not only know how to operate them safely within the limitations of each type of craft but who are also aware of the legal and regulatory requirements in the operation of drones.
Sometime in 2017, Malaysia Unmanned Drones Activist Society (MUDAS), a non-governmental organisation devoted to the development and advancement of drones in the country, initiated discussions with the Department of Skills Development or Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (JPK) to develop a formal curriculum for the training of drone pilots under the vocational programmes of the many polytechnics and colleges spread throughout the country.
MUDAS is a non-governmental organisation devoted to the development and advancement of drones in the country.
The NGO has been in the forefront of promoting dialogue with government agencies that are involved in regulating and controlling the nation’s airspace, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), the Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan Negara (JUPEM), the survey and mapping department, which has traditionally been the authority overseeing aerial photography, especially mapping because of its implications on national security, and other organisations that have direct and indirect interests in the operation of ‘drones’.
“MUDAS initiated contact with JPK in late 2017 to moot the idea of drone pilot training under the National Occupational Skills Standard (NOSS) programme,” said Executive Secretary William Alvisse.
“In mid-2018 an expert panel was formed comprising of representatives from CAAM, Jupem and MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) to create the current Curriculum,” Alvisse added.
Husni Faiz, a graduate of Electrical Power Engineering and a full-time pilot under BIP Studio and drone piloting trainer welcomes the NOSS Standards.
“It’s vital for those intending to be professional drone pilots undergo formal training such as the structure that is recommended in the NOSS standard.
“While recreational flyers may not need the entire course structure, it would be a good idea if parts or modules of that could be offered to training companies to train the hobbyists and recreational flyers,” he added.
Husni also trains pilots under his Akufly Academy.
“Having the NOSS training standard is good for the industry, said Kamarul A Muhamed, CEO of the Aerodyne Group.
Aerodyne operates in 11 countries and is regarded as the premier drone services company, providing integrated managed solutions for the petroleum, civil engineering and facilities industry.
It employs 300 people, 1/3rd of whom are drone pilots.
“A structured drone piloting course will increase the level of competence and will lead to better safety and quality of operations,” he added.
Currently, Aerodyne trains its local pilots locally and in-house following the structure set by training schools in the UK and Australia where some of their pilots and trainers have been trained. The company then structure their training based on the training syllabus of these schools.
The Aerodyne pilots operating in their international markets are trained at authorised training schools for certifications should this be available in that particular country.
As a renowned global drone services company, recruitment isn’t an issue with many would-be pilots clamouring to join the group.
“The challenge, however, is in getting good technical pilots with the right mentality for enterprise-level work,” Kamarul said.
Kamarul lists technical ability, having a global mindset, the ability to communicate well and good and diligent in report writing, and problem-solving skills as the key factors he looks for in a candidate.
Drone Academy Asia provides training for drone operators and its graduates receive a “globally recognised DJI certificate”.
A representative of the academy said that they believe a formalised course structure is needed for the industry and that they are studying the NOSS standard and framework.
Located at the Cyberjaya Innovation Hub, Drone Academy offers courses in Aerial Mapping and Surveying, Precise Aerial Mapping and a Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) claimable Professional Drone Operator course.
The idea for a structured course, leading to certification is to produce well trained and competent workforce to meet the requirements of drone service companies to handle flights for mapping, facilities and structure monitoring, agriculture to name just three areas where drones are being increasingly used.
“There are two levels, Level 2 and 3 with 1,200 hours and 1,300 hours of training respectively,” said Alvisse.
“Upon completion of the training, candidates will be awarded an SKM (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia) certificate,” Alvisse added.
“Just a word of caution though,” Kamarul said.
“In the long term drone piloting will be limited in requirements as the industry moves into pilotless autonomous operation.”
Which will then necessitate an overhaul of the training syllabus?
THE world of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is one of paradoxes and other mind bogglers.
Five thousand TVET and science places are waiting to be filled, yet there are no takers. Puzzlingly, too, TVET grad employability is a very high 95 per cent versus tertiary institution grad employability of an average of 80 per cent.
This the parents and students do not know, says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik. Little wonder, only 13 per cent of all upper secondary students are pursuing TVET courses, while merely nine per cent are doing them at polytechnics.
A 2018 report by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) on The School-To-Work Transition of Young Malaysianslends support to the minister’s claim.
The report quotes job seekers as saying TVET to be the most useful qualification for getting a good job. Yet — here comes another mind boggler — TVET is not a popular education pathway. As Maszlee says, there may need to be a deeper analysis. We agree.
Perhaps, the problem may not be in TVET itself, but in everything associated with it. This maze must be untangled. Consider this.
There are more than 1,000 public and private TVET institutions — 565 public institutions under six ministries and 600 private institutions.
This causes a plethora of problems, says the KRI report. One such is a lack of strategic coordination. This should have been to some extent solved by the Malaysia Board of Technologies — a governance and certification body — launched on Nov 17, 2016. But fragmentation continues. The puzzle thickens.
“Low wages” appear to be standing in the way of TVET, too. To Maszlee, this is a perception problem. It may very well be. And can be solved with some generous dose of awareness.
Remuneration is based on TVET skills acquired and as the skills are upgraded along with the experience gained, salary tends to move up.
But there is hope yet. Maszlee says a cabinet-level committee is hard at work consolidating resources as well as synchronising efforts to ensure stronger branding, more effective governance, funding and accreditation structures to make TVET a primary choice for students.
We will hold our horses until the more “sexy” TVET arrives. Part of this reform involves making the TVET industry responsive, according to deputy director-general at the Education Ministry’s Polytechnic and Community College Education Department, Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub.
The idea is, he says, to make supply match demand by way of artificial intelligence and big data. This has been the experience of many European countries. European countries have skewed their skills development policy towards encouraging such a match.
KRI sees competency-based training as critical to TVET reform. This allows for the design of practical, demand-driven courses for industry needs.
Competency-based TVET uses short modular courses geared to market industry demand, enabling students to enter the market with a defined set of skills.
Modular courses also come with additional advantages: they promote lifelong learning and are less time-intensive. The rest of the world is heading towards short “nano degrees”. We should too.
Comment: Again, would like to point out that one factor that maybe left out is the fact that current Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) & Diploma Kemahiran Malaysia (DKM) holders are facing stumbling block in furthering their study to higher education due to SPM qualification issues, ie passing BM & History and/or with 3 credits as per required by MQA.