Sunday, September 22

Muhyiddin: Vocational field to be main thrust

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KUALA TERENGGANU: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Education Act would be amended to make vocational schools and colleges an important element in the national education system in future.

He said the amendment would be in line with the National Education Transformation Plan, which would be tabled in Parliament to introduce it as an important field in training workers to be experts or highly skilled.

“In developed countries such as France, almost 40 per cent of its students choose the vocational or technical field, not because they failed their examination but they want to learn in that field.

“But in Malaysia, the number of vocational students has not even reached 10 per cent because we see vocational education as the second choice.

“However, in this new phase, we are going to make it more important and the first choice of students with the amendment (to the Education Act).”

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said this in his speech at the Terengganu School Leadership Transformation Programme yesterday.

Also present were Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman.

Muhyiddin said currently, Malaysia had only 87 vocational schools which had mostly been upgraded into vocational colleges.

He said these, however, were still insufficient, hence the government would increase the number and would also upgrade the existing infrastructure and facilities.

In line with the objective, he added, the ministry would train more staff to be highly-skilled trainers for students in that field.

Muhyiddin said this would be among the main challenges faced in the field of education in producing the kind of human capital required for the future.

“Also, school leaders, especially school heads, and assisted by the teachers and parent-teacher associations, also play an important role in producing balanced individuals in terms of character and achievements.

“In producing knowledgeable people, we cannot ignore co-curriculum and balance it with science and technology and religion.

“We need to develop young Malaysians to have ethics, good character, and nationalistic and patriotic spirit and this will depend a lot on the role of the school heads,” he said. — Bernama