Schools lack measures to push for TVET


  • Letters
  • Thursday, 05 Dec 2019

I READ with both expectation and reservation the article “TVET committee on the right track” (The Star, Nov 30). This article relates the many technical bodies and committees such as JKKPTVET (TVET Empowerment Cabinet Committee) that have planned and charted many initiatives and collaborations with local industrial players and other countries to enhance TVET.

It also mentions the steps

that are going to be taken by the various existing technical colleges and institutions to upgrade TVET so as to move in tandem with Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) and to produce a pool of skilled workers by 2030.

All these are well and good, but such initiatives are all only at the upstream spectrum of the TVET ecosystem.

The government has often said that the people must change their perception of TVET so that the country can achieve a 30% technical human capital to drive the national economy and meet the IR 4.0 framework.

It is difficult to change the mindset of parents to encourage their children towards taking TVET as a career pathway. An easier way is to impress the importance of TVET on the children from young.

Any teacher who is worth his salt knows that the formative years are the most important ones for a child to take an interest in certain fields. So why is there no mention of TVET in schools, especially primary schools?

The present syllabi taught in schools are not impressionable enough to influence our students to have greater interest in TVET. Learning coding may help students to be more digitally savvy and produce computer programmers and analysts but not IT technicians or engineers. Hands-on learning must be given greater emphasis so that TVET will also produce practical workers such as plumbers, electricians, metal and wood workers and so on for our SMEs and SMIs. Currently, we are relying too much on foreigners to do such jobs, resulting in a drain on our country’s coffers.

If the government is serious in encouraging Malaysian youths to take up TVET as a career pathway, and to meet the 30% technical workforce, I suggest greater emphasis and more comprehensive TVET syllabi be put in place in our schools.

KHOO KOK HEONG

Bukit Gelugor, Penang


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