‘Inject more practical training in polytechnics, reskilling institutions’

A lawmaker says the upskilling and reskilling efforts by institutions nationwide are not “relevant” and “current”, posing a big problem.

Member of Parliament M. Kulasegaran (PH – Ipoh Barat) added that the government had recently supported the Human Resources Ministry for the Human Resources Development Corp (HRD Corp) to take over all skilling and reskilling institutions in Malaysia.

“I’ve been made to understand that although this is the wish of the government, it is not working … it is seen as a failure as many institutions and polytechnics under the various ministers do not seem to want to work with HRD Corp, so that they can all be under one umbrella,” added Kulasegaran in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The 36 polytechnics nationwide come under the jurisdiction of the Higher Learning Ministry, while Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) institutions fall under the Rural Development Ministry.

The former human resources minister added that skilling, upskilling, cross-skilling, and reskilling were insufficient as there was a dire need to inject practical training.

“At least 70 per cent must be practical training, but in polytechnics right now, 70 to 80 per cent (of lessons) is theory.”

“When our children graduate from such institutions, they are paid low, when compared to their peers, abroad. The current system does not take into account that we need more practical training.”

Technical and vocational education training (TVET) was the talking point at the National Employment Council meeting on March 2, as the government planned to embark on programmes to promote and rebrand the education stream.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in a statement a day later, had said that the promotion and rebranding of TVET would be carried out in a comprehensive manner to eliminate any perception that TVET is second-class education.

There had been pockets of conversations, positioning TVET as the choice for education, in the past.

For the record, a whopping RM4.9 billion was allocated to implement the TVET Malaysia Master Plan, as revealed in Budget 2018.

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