I REFER to the letter “Less talk, more action on TVET” (StarEducate, Aug 30) by Cheong Kee Cheok of Universiti Malaya.
Even though Malaysia has claimed that it is a country leading in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), we really need more serious actions and not just declarations.
I cannot but agree with the writer. There are no proper statistics on TVET in the country, and by this I mean the number of students enrolled in the course, those who have been trained, and even the subjects offered so far.
As the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 has indicated, TVET is one of 10 shifts to strengthen education.
There should be a proper framework and an action plan for TVET development.
During the recent Asia-Pacific Conference on Education and Training (ACET) 2015, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh stated in his keynote address that TVET is the pathway of the 21st century.
It is also the way forward that could potentially close the existing gaps in the economies of the globe.
So, to keep up with the current trends in the world, there should be innovative strategies to prepare graduates with competencies that match up with the pace of today’s economies. There are several actions that we need to take to implement a good framework for TVET.
The first is to review and develop policies for TVET.
New strategies are expected to be different from previous education systems.
Several secondary school students are struggling to identify the fields of study they want to focus on.
On the other hand, higher education provides opportunities for students to experiment with different courses.
Many of them take a long time to identify their area of study or interest. Even then, not all students are successful in getting their ideal jobs when they graduate from college.
The second action is to establish a joint partnership or network with organisations nationally and internationally.
By doing so, they could formulate a framework for TVET but such collaborations cannot be superficial and should be results-driven, and training and skills acquired should be adequate.
Some scholars argue that education cannot save our society, instead it is the way we educate that will change the world.
However, the issue here is greater that just providing employment opportunities or attractive career pathways for students.
We should prepare students so that they are ready for the real life challenges.
The third one is to identify the challenges and take action to resolve the problems. Coming up with progress reports on TVET must be carried out on a regular basis.
We should also disseminate the value of TVET in acquiring skills and knowledge that are demanded by employers.
Take the case of the United Kingdom, for example, which is committed to invest billions of pounds on skills development every year.
Thus, we need continuous effort and commitment to skills development for a sustainable future.
American James H. Douglas Jr, who served under three American presidents in various capacities, said: “A good job is more than just a pay cheque. A good job fosters independence and discipline, and contributes to the health of the community”.
We hope that through TVET programmes, we will have citizens with excellent skill sets who are able to bring about a sustainable future for our country.
Did you find this article insightful?