KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Education and Innovation is putting emphasis on ensuring excellent students pursue their studies at top 20 universities, besides encouraging technical and vocational education to reduce youth unemployment.
With the State Scholarship Department under the ministry, Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob said the move was a way to ensure no student misses out on any opportunity to further their studies.
“The Ministry is also in the midst of strategising ways for our students to enter the top 20 universities in the world. For those who did not excel academically, we will also provide support in terms of scholarship to enrol in vocational schools, as we believe education is the key to eradicating poverty,” he said.
In his speech at the State Assembly sitting yesterday, Yusof shared that 51 students achieved a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.0 in the 2018 Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) exams, while 151 more achieved straight As in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams.
Given the achievement, Yusof assured that the ministry would do its level best to help plan the next course of action for excellent students, who, he said, would receive scholarships either from the State government, Sabah Foundation, JPA Malaysia, MARA or Petronas.
He added that the ministry would also be sponsoring students from the B40 group under the e-Kasih programme, to enrol in courses at training centres throughout the State.
“In line with this, the ministry together with Sabah Foundation would also organise an education carnival from May 3-5 this year, where 160 training providers would be available at Tun Mustapha Tower grounds to promote offered courses. There would also be employers looking to recruit,” he said.
Yusof went on to mention of smart partnerships between the ministry, Department of Human Resource Development and State Manpower Department to further tackle the unemployment issue through programmes such as job fairs and the Sabah Job Centre Portal, which matches employers to suitable candidates for recruitment.
To date, 2,667 vacancies have been offered by employers to candidates registered on the Portal.
Yusof also said that ongoing programmes are conducted to retrain and reskill employees to increase employability, while training courses are expanded to rural areas.
“Meanwhile, the ministry though the Sabah Techpreneur Association (SATA) is actively organising entrepreneurial courses to groom ICT-savvy entrepreneurs. The ministry also has an allocation from the federal government to train 448 unemployed graduates to enrol in farming and safety and health officer programmes, through Sabah Skills and Technology Centre,” he added.