KUALA LUMPUR: Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) is just as important to Malaysia's development now as it was in the early years after Merdeka, says M. Kulasegaran.
The Human Resource Minister said early leaders saw its importance in building a new country, with the establishment of the first TVET institute in Kuala Lumpur around 1962.
"But along the way, the system changed to give more prominence to academic (study)," he said.
However, TVET has regained its importance as developed countries like Germany and Japan have placed more emphasis on it, Kulasegaran said.
He said both countries implemented a dual system whereby students spend about 70% of their time on training and about 30% on learning experience.
"TVET has also become a preferred choice in India as students know they are guaranteed a job after they leave school," he said.
Kulasegaran said Malaysia also had plans to improve its own TVET syllabus by expanding it to include computer-related subjects.
He made the remarks after representing Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in launching the Road To World Skills Competition (WSC) Kazan Gold 2019.
In reading her speech, Kulasegaran said participating in an international competition, such as the WSC Kazan 2019, would also help elevate TVET and produce more highly skilled Malaysian talents.
Malaysia will be represented by 20 participants at the competition, each coached by an expert to show off their talents in various fields including baking, cabinet-making, jewellery design, electrical installation, brick-laying, cloud computing, mechanical engineering, and refrigeration and air conditioning.
Malaysia's prior achievement in the biennial competition organised by WorldSkills International included winning two bronze medals and nine Medallions for Excellence at WSC Abu Dhabi 2017.
WorldSkills is an organisation aimed at empowering communities through vocational skills.
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