SINCE 2018, at least half of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) graduates had opted to continue their tertiary education.
Only between 20.02% and 30.8% chose to work after finishing school from 2018 to 2021, according to the Education Ministry’s eProfil Kerjaya Murid (ePKM) tracking system for Form Five graduates.
According to the ministry’s latest data, 50.3% of the SPM 2021 candidates are continuing their education in various institutions as of Feb 2 this year.
And 30.8% are currently working, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek told Parliament in a written reply to Senator Datuk Paul Igai on March 23.
A total of 407,097 candidates sat for the written papers from March 2 to March 29 nationwide, it was reported last year.
In 2018 and 2019, 55.05% and 65.23% of students continued their studies while 20.02% and 25.85% opted to work, respectively. In 2020, 64.80% embarked on a tertiary path while 24.57% sought employment.
Igai had asked the minister how many SPM students did not continue their studies upon completing Form Five from 2018 to 2021, and also to explain the measures taken to address the problem.
Fadhlina said the ministry carries out psychometric assessments as part of the school-based assessment to help teachers identify the interests, abilities, potential and personality, and talents of students so that they can guide their charges in choosing a career and in recognising their most dominant skills so that these youths are able to pursue their interests upon finishing school.
The ministry, she said, also provides exposure to students so that they are aware of the various career opportunities open to them upon leaving.
This is done through career-focused counselling sessions to give students the latest information that is related to their capabilities.
The ministry, said Fadhlina, also encourages students to participate in science, technology, Engineering and mathematics (STEM) and technical and vocational education and training (TVET). She said the marketability of TVET graduates under the ministry’s purview was 98% in the last three years.
The ministry, together with the Higher Education Ministry, she said, organises various motivational talks, skills workshops, self-improvement courses, exhibitions and education and career carnivals.
Networking activities with government agencies such as the Human Resources Ministry, and organisations like the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and Human Resource Development Corporation (HRD Corp), and sharing sessions with school alumni groups and during Career Day in schools, are conducted for the benefit of students.