PETALING JAYA: The Human Resources Ministry said there is a need for better Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) governance and accreditation.
It pledged to work continuously with the Education Ministry to streamline the TVET curriculum to ensure student qualifications were recognised, the ministry said in a statement.
The statement was in response to The Star’s exclusive report on Thursday on the Pendidikan Vokasional Menengah Atas (PVMA) programme that had been put on hold, leaving 5,504 school leavers last year in a bind.
Students who had enrolled in the programme at their schools for TVET, were to be awarded with two certificates – Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Malaysian Skills Certificate (SKM).
However, 208 out of 269 national schools offering the PVMA programme had yet to be accredited as SKM training centres.
The Human Resources Ministry said various measures had been taken to ensure schools adhered to the requirements.
The implementation of TVET was undertaken by seven ministries, with the Human Resources Ministry mandated as the overall coordinator.
The ministry acknowledged that there was a lack of coordination across the ministries.
Collectively, TVET implementation was carried out in 552 public and 690 private institutions across Malaysia.
“Our ministry and the Economic Affairs Ministry is also in the midst of preparing a Cabinet paper to suggest integrating all TVET players in the public sector under one purview, namely under one new or existing ministry or agency.
“The suggestion to have one coordinating TVET body will be tabled to the Cabinet shortly,” it added.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said earlier that 5,504 students have been asked by the Human Resources Ministry to sit for an assessment known as the Recognition of Prior Achievement (RPA).
This is to formally recognise their skills so they can pursue further studies in other TVET institutions.
In its statement, the Human Resources Ministry said students were being called back to undergo the RPA in order to be recognised and accredited.
This was to ensure they fulfilled the National Occupational Skills Standard requirements underlined by the Department of Skills Development, the ministry said.
Education Ministry officials said the affected students would complete the assessment between July and August this year and gain a Level Two SKM by the year-end.
Meanwhile, NUTP has called for a central body to be formed to tackle TVET issues at the lower level.
Its president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said there were many problems related to TVET, such as students graduating without certificates and a lack of instructors within the Education Ministry.
“We urge the Government to set up a central body that is free of political interference and to coordinate the governance of TVET by all the agencies involved.
“It can be made up of individuals who are experts within the field and the relevant stakeholders,” he told reporters yesterday.
On Thursday, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced that a special TVET task force, chaired by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, had been set up.
He said the task force would prepare a report to improve TVET.