LANGKAWI: School counsellors play an important role to guide students in identifying opportunities after the Sijil Persekolahan Malaysia (SPM) examination, according to their field of interest and to suit their abilities and skills, says Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.
He said the counsellors were trained to understand the needs of employers so that they could help students identify which direction to go after completing school.
“Hence, after the SPM examination, these students already know where to go if they are interested in the technical field or science, and teachers will continue to help these children to ensure that they understand what is the best journey for their future.
“In this context, if they don’t study at university in this field, they will have skills as there are various fields that they can further their studies in.
“That is our approach to prepare the students,” he said after launching the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction project of SMK Bohor Jaya at SMK Kedawang here yesterday, reported Bernama.
Radzi was asked to comment on a media report on July 31 that 390,000, or 72.1%, of SPM holders did not want to continue their studies, based on a survey carried out by the Statistics Department.
The report said although the data was for 2019, the trend was believed to have continued in 2020 and 2021.
It added that according to research data in 2019, 560,000 SPM candidates sat for the examination, but after the exam results were announced, only about 170,000 chose to continue their studies, while the rest entered the job market.
Among the three main factors identified, those aged 17 to 18 ended up uninterested in continuing their education and were being influenced by social media.
They thought that pursuing tertiary education is not a guarantee of securing a better job.
Radzi said data from the study needed to be examined in more detail because it was important for more effective implementation of actions.
“We are working to dissect the data to the next level. We want to see the data in detail.
“Any action is based on the details of the data. However, on our side, we will always make sure that students can compete.
“If they continue to lag behind, for example, in the context of science and technology, and the interest to continue in the professional field of science and technology is not there, then the country will face a challenge in the future.
“Hence, now is an important time for us to train them through the system, to instil the interest naturally, and when attending school they can see where their future is headed, and be given exposure to various spaces and opportunities available from a young age,” he said.