VOCATIONAL and technical education has proven to be increasingly popular among students as it saves time and money.
Those who opt to enter a vocational college after sitting for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) will receive their diplomas after just four years of studies, as opposed to the common pathway which is to sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
Students pursuing vocational and technical education which is based on the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia curriculum will be exposed to practical components to strenghten their knowledge and skills that will enhance their career prospects.
Just ask vocational student, S. Lakxessnah, 16, who said taking up the vocational school pathway was a wise decision.
The database management system student saw it as a “fast-track” to acquire tertiary qualifications.
“Instead of taking the conventional pathway (which is to sit for SPM), I will get my diploma when I am 19. It is not for weak students but for people like me who already have a clear idea on what we want to do with our future,” said the Kolej Vokasional Perdagangan Johor Baru student.
Lakxessnah was one of the students who attended the 1Malaysia Kolej Vokasional carnival in Klang recently.
The Kolej Vokasional Perdagang-an Johor Baru student, came to the career carnival with her schoolmates and teachers.
The objective of the four-day carnival was to highlight the various courses available as well as the career alternatives for vocational and technical school leavers.
It is also to disseminate information of the Government’s initiatives to transform the vocational and technical education.
The Government has vowed to transform the technical education and vocational training (TEVT) sector in a move to make TEVT more appealing to students.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said there was a need to produce at least 3.3 million skilled workers in the next 10 years in order to meet the demands of the country’s economic developments.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the average enrolment of upper secondary students in technical and vocational courses in Malaysia was about 10%, compared to the average 44% enrolment of students from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
In Germany, Finland and Austria, for example, 50% to 80% students pursued vocational education at upper secondary level or through apprenticeship.
“We received 117,000 applications to enter vocational colleges while we can acommodate up to 21,000 students. This is very encouraging and we should provide more places for those interested,” he said.
Student Nurul Ain Fatihah Mohd Hisam, 16, said society should regard vocational education as a desirable study option.
She said vocational and technical schools were a great place to discover talents.
“The Government is actively promoting such education because it is a good way to identify and groom young people who can in turn help contribute to the economy of our country,” she said.
Kolej Vokasional Klang student T. Peravin said it was time for the public to change their perception about vocational education.
“For those who think vocational and technical education is just for weak students, they should come to our college and see for themselves.
“The institution offers comprehensive education because there are both theoretical and practical components,” he added.