PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry wants to use a vocational pilot programme to keep students with disciplinary problems out of trouble, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.
He said the Upper Secondary School Industry Apprenticeship (Pima) programme, introduced at a national school in January, was producing positive results.
The programme, which the ministry plans to roll out in all secondary schools next year, was to discourage students from skipping classes or dropping out entirely, he said.
Under Pima, students who are not academically inclined will have a chance to acquire vocational skills and industrial training during school hours, Chong said at a press conference yesterday.
Feedback from the school which conducted the pilot project showed that students’ attendance rate was high, he said.
Pima, which involves Form Four and Five students, is an extension of the National Dual Training System, which was introduced by the ministry in 2012.
These students will spend 70% of their time on industrial training and 30% on academic studies.
At the end of the programme, they will be given either a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia certificate.
Companies participating in Pima should be located near the school to provide training to students while prioritising their safety.
On last week’s death of 18-year-old T. Nhaveen, who was targeted by bullies, Chong said records showed that the boy had never lodged any official complaint about his attackers, known to be his former schoolmates.
He said it was important for detailed reports to be lodged, adding that teachers, students and victims should make official complaints about bullying.
“We want to know the details and the scenario on the ground,” he said.
Chong said the ministry had identified 402 schools around the country with high numbers of disciplinary cases, including 91 which he described as “hotspot schools”.
“These schools will be given closer attention. There will be more interventions from the authorities to reduce disciplinary issues,” he added.