A COUNTRY’S education system and a job market that provides opportunities for its graduates to achieve their full potential are the best benchmarks of a nation’s progress.
Covid-19 and the onslaught of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have shaken the country’s economic sector with talents made redundant as their skills and knowledge become obsolete, and as organisations restructure to weather challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Understandably, students who have just enrolled in university, as well as fresh graduates entering the job market, are anxious.
The recent unveiling of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) by the Prime Minister is aimed at addressing some of these concerns.
Elaborating on initiatives to improve the education system, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes, would be enhanced.
The higher education sector would also be given greater flexibility, he told the Dewan Rakyat.
“The (TVET) programmes will be enhanced by improving the ecosystems and quality of programmes through accreditation, recognition and certification by international standards bodies, as well as the introduction of TVET institutional rating system.
“A centralised database for TVET supply and demand will be developed,” he said in a Bernama report on Sept 27.
Better cooperation with industries, he added, would be set up in the higher education sector, to improve the quality of graduates and to fulfil industry needs.
At the school and tertiary levels, digital education would be introduced to provide better access to quality education, he said. This is to better prepare students for advancing technologies.
Describing the 12MP as “highly appropriate”, Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said an entire chapter was devoted to prioritising developing future talent.
“There is clearly a strong intent to make the necessary changes to the country’s education system.
“The priorities and strategies announced comprehensively addressed many of the issues faced by the sector,” he told StarEdu.He, however, said only time would tell if the initiatives are effective in helping the nation achieve its talent development goals.
“The pandemic has hit us hard. We have a lot of work to do to re-establish Malaysia’s position as a favoured educational destination.
“Greater investments to promote the country as a safe and student-friendly environment are needed while we strive to ensure that regulatory and enforcement frameworks are in place to support and create a conducive learning ecosystem for international students.”
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