TVET shouldn’t be second choice

The whole teaching staff and the learning modules must be remain competitive in a labour market that is constantly changing.

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Published by Malay Mail.

Negative perception towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme as the second choice in conventional academic education should be eliminated.

Low wages, dirty work, unattractive, uneducated, not “glamorous”, are among the negative views of the society when TVET programme was introduced.

In the 2020 budget, allocations for TVET programme is RM5.9 billion, more than RM200 million the previous year. It shows the seriousness of the government to empower the TVET programme.

TVET is an education and training that provides knowledge and skills to get a job. The TVET education process is more towards industries that require highly trained and skilled workforce.

The emergence of the TVET programme creates new hopes for Malaysia. Because education based on theory alone cannot benefit the youngster to get a job.

Right now, more than 1,200 institutions offer TVET programmes with an enrolment of over 200,000 students. Former deputy human resources minister, Datuk Mahfuz Omar, said that TVET is an investment, not an expense.  

When it comes to investment, the important things to consider are the return on investment and the investment period. If TVET is an investment, how to see the results?

TVET restructuring

The concept of restructuring shouldn’t focus on education in schools or institutions of higher learning alone. In the past few years we have often heard from various parties urging the realignment of school subjects with industry requirements.

The result of this restructuring certainly cannot be seen in a short period of time. Various aspects need to be examined, explored and scrutinized in order to see its relevance with present and future needs.

Former education minister, YB Maszlee Malik, established the National TVET Coordinating Body, a single and uniform entity that unifies TVET under one roof to make it a more competitive system.

This is an initiative that should be continued so that there is no confusion and outside interference as a reference for this TVET programme.

This restructuring also should be in line with Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 and the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12), which will be presented in the middle of this year to ensure the country’s workforce requirement can be met for the short and long term.

Trainer accreditation

TVET programme should be seen as not only a channel to process and produce local talent, but also as an engine of national development. And in order to develop this engine, it requires a specialist engine maker ― a competent trainer. 

This trainer is responsible for developing students’ interests, talents and abilities. They also must be responsive to any kind of technological change that is taking place in the industry so that technology trends are not outdated when taught to TVET students.

Moreover, with many TVET training centers emerging, the trainers for these TVET training centers must be fully qualified and competent. Formal recognition is required so that the trainer is not just pursuing a profit.

Experience of working in the industry is an advantage to the trainer. If a trainer is lacking in experience, it is difficult to provide knowledge and skills that are relevant to the industry.

Thus, the role and competency of trainers are very important to produce a skilled workforce that is well-suited to the needs of the country’s development and can be implemented properly and effectively. Suitable training curriculum for trainers should include competency categories that sharpen trainers’ talents.

Recognition is not only for trainers, but also the whole teaching staff and the learning modules so that all remain competitive in a labour market that is constantly changing. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) have changed the landscape of human life.

The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) under the Ministry of Human Resources (MoHR), as well as several other government agencies such as the Department of Labor (JTK) have full authority in accrediting TVET training centres and they need to be more active with strict enforcement on recognising the body that runs the TVET programmes.

TVET Malaysian version

Germany has a dual-training education system to empower TVET and it has successfully brought the German education system to a new level, in which the system has been adopted by several countries, including Malaysia.

With the allocation of RM 5.9 billion, I suggest that MyTVET ― the Malaysian version TVET ― is created, with the cooperation and collaboration of the education system from abroad that is adjusted according to the needs and culture of work in Malaysia.

This implementation should be more systematic, covering all aspects and inclusive, regardless of the level of education of a student as long as they have the elementary school certificate.

The current “lab rat” era needs to stop. The modular implementation of TVET programmes needs to be developed, designed and implemented as soon as possible. Whether it will be taught in Bahasa Malaysia or English, the development and progress of the country is no longer dependent solely on the human capital that is knowledgeable, but also highly skilled.

If changes are not made immediately, the country is feared to be incompetent globally and will fall behind.

Amir Jalal is Research Associate at EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.

Bahasa Melayu

Diterbitkan oleh Berita Harian, gambar daripada Berita Harian.

GAJI rendah, kerja kotor, tidak menarik, berpendidikan dan glamour, antara pandangan negatif masyarakat apabila Program Pendidikan dan Latihan Teknikal dan Vokasional (TVET) diperkenalkan. Tanggapan negatif terhadap TVET sebagai pilihan kedua dalam bidang akademik konvensional perlu dihapuskan.

Dalam Belanjawan 2020, peruntukan program TVET berjumlah RM5.9 bilion, lebih RM200 juta daripada tahun sebelumnya. Ia menunjukkan kerajaan serius memperkasa program itu.

TVET ialah pendidikan dan latihan membekalkan pengetahuan serta kemahiran mendapatkan pekerjaan. Proses pendidikannya lebih menuju ke arah industri yang memerlukan tenaga kerja terlatih serta berkemahiran tinggi.

Kemunculan program TVET menjadi sinar baharu kepada negara. Pembelajaran berbekalkan teori semata-mata tidak mampu memberi kelebihan kepada golongan muda untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan.

Di negara ini, lebih 1,200 institusi menawarkan program TVET dengan pendaftaran lebih 200,000 pelajar. Timbalan Menteri Sumber Manusia, Datuk Mahfuz Omar, mengatakan TVET ialah pelaburan, bukannya pembaziran.

Apabila bercakap mengenai pelaburan, perkara penting perlu diambil kira ialah jumlah pulangan dan tempoh pelaburan. Dan jika TVET pelaburan, bagaimana boleh dilihat hasilnya?

Konsep penyelarasan semula tidak hanya tertumpu kepada pendidikan di sekolah atau institusi pengajian tinggi. Beberapa tahun alu kita sering mendengar desakan pelbagai pihak mengenai penyelarasan semula subjek di sekolah dengan kehendak industri.

Hasil penyelarasan sudah tentu tidak boleh dilihat dalam tempoh singkat. Pelbagai aspek perlu diteliti, didalami dan dilihat agar sesuai dengan keperluan masa kini dan akan datang.

Bekas Menteri Pendidikan, Dr Maszlee Malik, menubuhkan Badan Penyelaras TVET Negara, iaitu entiti tunggal yang besar dan seragam dalam menyatukan TVET di bawah satu bumbung untuk menjadikannya sistem lebih berdaya saing.

Ini inisiatif yang perlu diteruskan agar tiada kekeliruan dan campur tangan pihak luar sebagai rujukan bagi program TVET ini.

Penyelarasan ini juga perlu seiring dengan Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan 2015-2025 dan Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 (RMKe-12) yang bakal dibentangkan pertengahan tahun ini dalam memastikan keperluan tenaga negara dapat dipenuhi bagi jangka pendek mahupun panjang.

Program TVET bukan sahaja sebagai saluran untuk memproses dan menghasilkan tenaga mahir tempatan, malahan enjin pembangunan negara. Dalam menghasilkan enjin ini, ia memerlukan pakar pembuat enjin – tenaga pengajar berwibawa.

Tenaga pengajar bertanggungjawab mengembangkan minat, bakat dan kebolehan pelajar. Mereka harus bersikap responsif kepada sebarang bentuk perubahan teknologi dalam industri agar tidak ketinggalan zaman apabila diajar kepada pelajar TVET.

Dengan lambakan pusat latihan TVET, tenaga pengajar perlu benar-benar berkelayakan dan cekap. Pengiktirafan rasmi diperlukan agar tenaga pengajar bukan hanya mengejar keuntungan semata-mata.

Pengiktirafan bukan sahaja terhadap tenaga pengajar, malah merangkumi keseluruhan modul pengajaran dan pembelajaran agar terus kekal kompetitif dalam suasana pasaran kerja yang sentiasa berubah. Teknologi seperti kecerdasan buatan (AI), internet untuk segalanya (IoT), data raya dan Revolusi Perindustrian 4.0 (IR4.0) mengubah landskap kehidupan manusia.

Kumpulan Wang Pembangunan Sumber Manusia (HRDF) di bawah seliaan Kementerian Sumber Manusia dan beberapa agensi kerajaan seperti Jabatan Tenaga Kerja (JTK) mempunyai kuasa sepenuhnya dalam memberi akreditasi kepada pusat latihan TVET. Mereka perlu lebih aktif dengan penguatkuasaan ketat dalam mengiktiraf badan yang menjalankan program TVET.

Seperti diketahui, Jerman mempunyai sistem pendidikan dwi-latihan bagi memperkasa TVET yang ternyata berjaya membawa sistem pendidikan negara itu ke tahap tinggi, sekali gus diguna pakai beberapa negara termasuk Malaysia.

Dengan peruntukan RM5.9 bilion, saya sarankan MyTVET – TVET versi Malaysia diwujudkan, dengan kerjasama sistem pendidikan dari luar tetapi perlu diselaraskan dengan keperluan dan budaya kerja di negara ini.

Pelaksanaan ini perlu lebih sistematik, merangkumi segala aspek dan inklusif, tanpa mempedulikan tahap pendidikan seseorang pelajar selagi mereka mempunyai kelulusan sekolah rendah.

Zaman ‘tikus makmal’ perlu dihentikan. Modul pelaksanaan program TVET perlu dibentuk, dirangka dan diimplementasi secepatnya. Sama ada ia akan diajar dalam bahasa Melayu atau Inggeris, pembangunan dan kemajuan negara tidak lagi bergantung semata-mata kepada modal insan berpengetahuan tinggi, bahkan berkemahiran tinggi.

Sekiranya perubahan tidak dilakukan dengan segera, negara dikhuatiri menjadi tidak cekap di peringkat global dan akan terus ketinggalan.

Amir Jalal merupakan Pegawai Penyelidik di EMIR Research, sebuah organisasi pemikir bebas yang berfokuskan kepada pencernaan saranan-saranan dasar strategik berteraskan penyelidikan yang terperinci, konsisten dan menyeluruh.

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