Pro-business government and cultural diversity are among
In realising that human capital
To date, over 1,400 technical and vocational colleges (TVET) have been established under different ministries to support the development of the industry
Despite the government’s intense efforts in encouraging higher participation in TVET, students in the country still prefer academic courses rather than technical or vocational streams. To reduce the mismatch between the academia and industry, some education and training centres offer short courses to equip the students with the necessary skills required by the industry.
The Apprenticeship Programme introduced by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is an example of a government-industry-academia initiative to address the shortage of technical skills. The Programme is a trilateral
This is a two-year initiative where 16-year-old students are placed at a vocational college for six months to undergo academic and vocational courses and another six months of practical training in participating companies for two consecutive years. At the end of the programme, the students sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination – only for selected subjects. Eventually, the students will receive both SPM and Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia 3 (SKM3) certificates. The participating company will have the first option in hiring the students.
The government is now promoting Industry4WRD towards achieving Industry 4.0, where it is billed as a looming technological event that would change the landscape of the industry globally. However, it may not be fully realised without the presence of a highly skilled workforce and multi-talented TVET graduates.
The Industry4WRD introduces connectivity between machines, allowing more advanced automation where companies can run their operations with less human error. Skills required by this new technology are different from what is offered at the current school system. According to the World Economic Forum, an estimated 65% of kids enrolling in primary education today will end up working in jobs that have not been created yet. Essential skills like programming and coding are to be taught in schools to prepare the students for future Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Computational thinking, such as problem-solving, abstract thinking, logical and skilled critical thinking, forms an essential part in the Industry 4.0 era.
In view of this, Malaysia, alongside Singapore, Japan and South Korea are preparing the new generation with the necessary skill sets for future jobs. Launched in 2016, Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (Pre-school to Post-Secondary Education) has established a roadmap for strengthening the STEM’s delivery processes across the education system. In 2016 and 2017 respectively, a new subject of the necessary coding has been introduced to the total of 9,000 year six students in the selected government’s schools across the country.
From 2020 onwards, algorithms (pseudocode and flow chart) will be included in the Design and Technology subject for senior primary school students (aged 10 – 12 years). Students will learn and be able to develop a simple to more complicated programming. In introducing the robotic and artificial intelligence, Basic Computer Science and Computer Science subjects will be taught for lower and upper secondary school, respectively. They are required to program softwares such as Arduino and Micro Bit, as well as learning to use Scratch, a freeware for coding and other resources.
According to the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, by 2020, the country requires about 1 million skilled and technical people. Of these, 500,000 will be in support and services, including nurses and ICT personnel; 470,000 implementors, engineers, doctors, architects, scientists, technologists and applied scientists and 30,000 in research and development.
Government agencies, including educational institutions and private sectors, are actively promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). For example, MIDA, in conjunction with SEMICON 2019 organised SEMI HI TECH U programme, an interactive programme to expose students to the semiconductor industry by applying the knowledge they have learned in school. The programme was divided into two modules, Microchip and Human Calculators. Microchip’s module will require the students to stimulate the layering process used in wafer fabs, while in Human Calculator’s module, students will be taught on “and”, “or”, and “not” gates. Through “feet on” exercise like the game “Twister,” students will be able to visualise the simulation of electron microprocessor flow when binary numbers translate to decimals. The interactive activities provided will help to create interest in STEM and for them to see the semiconductor industry as career prospects.
With the Industrial Revolution, demand for the big data professionals is expected to increase. Yayasan Peneraju,
Public universities like Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Multimedia University (MMU) are some of the universities that offer courses related to Big Data.
In August 2019, a new committee namely