KUALA LUMPUR: The institutions of higher learning (IPTs) should set up an evaluation system to promote lifelong learning, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said currently the Open University Malaysia (OUM) had instituted an evaluation framework which considered working experience as an entrance requirement to take up courses.
“This initiative has encouraged working adults to continue learning to enhance their knowledge and skills,” he said when launching the National Lifelong Learning (LLL) Culture Master Plan here yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said the initiative had been implemented in developed countries such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Human capital development will be a decisive factor as Malaysia bridges the income gap with developed countries amid stiff global competition, he said.
“In the region, countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea have successfully retained their top talents due to their ability in adopting the right strategies and mechanisms by focusing on the strengths selected industrial sectors,” he said.
Simultaneously, he said these countries had developed training and human resource development and skill enhancement programmes and talent database to ensure that relevant human capital could be produced.
He said, in this context, Malaysia would continue to make changes and improve its education system in the development of human capital to cater to the needs of industries and the country.
“I believe the country’s higher education system is capable of producing brilliant, talented and critical minded human capital, who are endowed with leadership and entrepreneurial traits to enable them to be competitive and tenacious in decades to come,” he added.
He said Malaysia developed the LLL Master Plan in its quest to join the ranks of developed countries through four strategies, namely empowering LLL mechanisms and infrastructure; enhancing LLL awareness and public participation; ensuring LLL continuity; and providing funds to support LLL programmes.
Muhyiddin said the most important aspect in ensuring the success of the programme was LLL accreditation and recognition, which was now being coordinated by the National Vocational Training Council in the form of certification.
The accreditation and recognition of LLL programmes will open up opportunities for students to pursue higher education, thus enabling them to get better salaries, he said.
In his speech, OUM president Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali said 66 per cent of the 28.9 million people in the country were in the working age population (15 to 64 years).
The OUM has produced 40,148 graduates over the past 10 years, 32,352 of them are teachers.
The country’s LLL was initiated by Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1971 before Universiti Tun Abdul Razak expanded it in the form of virtual learning in 1988. — Bernama