KUCHING: Five more Sekolah Tunas Bakti (STB), the Welfare Department’s rehabilitation centres for juvenile, are set to become accredited skills training centres this year.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim said they would follow the example of STB Kuching, which received accreditation from the Skills Development Department in 2011 to provide skills training to its residents leading to the Malaysian Skills Certificate (SKM) Level 1.
She said STB Kuching was the first institution under the Welfare Department to be accredited. It offers wood-based building construction, agriculture and electrical courses, with 30 trainees per intake.
“This means the trainees can obtain skills certificates during their time at the school. Once they leave, they will not only have undergone rehabilitation but be equipped with skills,” she told reporters during a visit to STB Kuching yesterday.
She added that the first batch of 27 trainees had received their certificates, out of whom five had found employment while the rest had gone on to further their studies.
Following this, she said the department had identified STB Kota Kinabalu, STB Taiping, STB Marang in Terengganu, STB Sungai Lereh (Malacca) and STB Teluk Air Tawar (Penang) to become accredited training centres.
STB Kota Kinabalu and Sungai Lereh will offer skills training in sewing, STB Taiping in baking, STB Marang in baking and sewing and STB Teluk Air Tawar in welding.
Rohani said the department’s target was 150 trainees per intake across all six schools, comprising 30 each in STB Kuching and Marang, 25 each in STB Taiping, Sungai Lereh and Teluk Air Tawar and 15 in STB Kota Kinabalu.
“This is a positive move because the trainees will become skilled workers and come out with a
certificate. It means their time in the institution will not be wasted,” she said.
On a related matter, she said the department planned to set up halfway homes for residents of STB and Rumah Kanak-Kanak who were approaching 18 years of age so that they would have a place to stay upon leaving the institutions.
She said both institutions catered for children aged 18 and below, but some were nearly 18 when they entered.
“Because of this, we propose setting up halfway homes for them and for those at Rumah Kanak-Kanak who reach 18 years of age but still have younger siblings in the institution.
“We have pioneered one halfway home in Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur, and from there we want to expand it elsewhere,” she said, adding that the proposal would be implemented this year.