Polytechnics and colleges to have new curriculum soon

PETALING JAYA: Starting June, polytechnics and community colleges will have a new technical and vocational curriculum.

Polytechnic and Community College Edu­cation Department director-general Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz said the new curriculum is meant to match industry needs and to keep up with changes brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0).

“We need to move with the times and look ahead ... We must adapt our curriculum to suit (the needs of) IR 4.0.

“Our wish is to have our students hit the industry running effectively soon after they graduate. When industry players see how these graduates contribute directly and efficiently to their operation, I believe employers will be more willing to pay higher salaries,” Prof Mohd Ismail told The Star.

Dubbed as “dynamic, organic, fluid and agile”, he said the new curriculum was benchmarked against the best practises around the world.

The curriculum incorporates current requirements by stakeholders and of IR 4.0 in all programmes, among other factors, Prof Mohd Ismail said.

Polytechnics and community colleges’ facilities too, he said, are being upgraded to meet the demands of IR 4.0.

“It took us around six months to develop the curriculum.

“Feedback from the industry was also taken into account and we have embedded professional practices and industry certification into the curriculum.

“We do an overhaul every three years.

“But now with this new and dynamic curriculum, it allows us to change it according to the needs of the industry at the particular time,” he added.

In December last year, The Star highlighted concerns by teachers that technical and vocational graduates will end up unemployed unless the syllabus is made more relevant.

National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Harry Tan previously said that feedback from Technical and Vocational Education Training teachers was that the syllabus is outdated.

Prof Mohd Ismail said he is aware of this fear among teachers.

“This is why we are working with more than 40 industry associations to ensure the relevance of our programmes,” he said.

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