‘Technical institutions and vocational schools to be upgraded to colleges ’

MIRI: Technical and vocational schools in the country will be upgraded to colleges in 2013 to offer more courses to meet sectorial needs in the country.

The deputy director (operations) of Technical and Vocational Division in the Ministry of Education, Zakaria Mohd Noor, said the details of the courses and their duration were still being studied.

“The duration might be two or three years depending on the types of courses offered.

“Among the SKM (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia) courses to be offered at the various technical schools are aviation, agriculture, maritime and automobile,” he said when officiating at the SM Teknik Miri LINK project graduation and award ceremony 2010 at Dewan Suarah yesterday.

Zakaria, who represented Ahmad Tajudin Jab the director of the Technical and Vocational Division, also launched the new logo of SM Technic, previously called Miri Vocational Secondary School (SMV Miri).

Among those present was the principal of SM Teknik Miri, Saffiee Driss.

Zakaria added that the transformation was vital to make courses at technical and vocational schools more relevant to enhance the graduates’ marketability in the country and in the global arena.

“Gone were the days when vocational or technical schools were only meant for students who did not do well in their studies.

Now technical and vocational schools are producing many successful individuals, some of whom have become millionaires,” he stressed.

As such, he urged parents to encourage their children to go to technical or vocational schools or colleges in future.

On the development of SM Teknik Miri, which has been renamed as SMV Miri, Zakaria said it was very timely.

However, the school’s authorities, including the parent-teacher association (PTA), need to intensify their efforts to promote the school so that more students would enrol at the school.

“The current 126 new applicants as at Oct 21 are far too low compared to the maximum capacity of 800. We need to optimise the facilities and teaching staff here,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, the principal of SM Teknik Miri, Saffiee said concerted efforts were continuously being taken to form collaborations with the various corporations and institutions of higher learning so as to enhance the standard of learning and teaching at the school.

“For academic development, we established the LINK project with Shell while collaborations were also held with ILP, IKBN, Community College, and PKKS (Sarawak Skill Development Centre) to enable our students to continue their training at these institutions,” he stressed.

On the whole, academic and co-curriculum performances were very satisfactory this year, although there was room for further improvement.

“Among the achievements, three of our softball players represented Sarawak in the national-level competition, and our school emerged as the national winner in chess competition.” he said.

We hoped that everyone concerned would continue to work closely to further enhance the school’s achievements.

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