By Noor Shamsiah Mohamed
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 -- Gagasan Pendidikan Melayu Malaysia (GPMM) has placed a high hope for the government to continue giving priority to education by increasing the allocation for the sector in the 2020 Budget which will be tabled in Parliament this Friday.
Its vice-president, Datuk Syed Anuar Syed Mohamad, said an increased allocation is important not only to ensure the education agenda continues to be empowered, but also to increase the skills and competency of Malaysian youths in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in order to more skilled workers.
“We hope the government will consider higher allocation that will benefit the people, especially in the education sector as we know the current challenges are particularly important in the face of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).
“If possible, we do not want to see any cut in the allocation for this sector as it is necessary to accomplish many things including the proposed Free Breakfast Programme for about 2.7 million primary school students nationwide,” he told Bernama.
He said the allocation was also needed to continue the upgrading and maintenance work at dilapidated schools especially in the east coast of the peninsula and in the interior of Sabah and Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) vice-chancellor, Prof Ir Dr Wan Azhar Wan Yusoff said the education sector in the era of Industry 4.0 demanded change in line with the digital transformation so that it could remain competitive as it would have a direct impact on the future job market.
“Among the things that are given serious attention is the collaboration between educational and technical institutions and industry.
“At the higher education level, for example, it would revolve around talent development and new technology, digital and engineering fields aimed at preparing graduates for the job market in intelligent production,” he said.
He said the government's support for the development of TVET had been quite consistent as institutions that dominated skills training continued to receive allocations to train skilled and semi-skilled workers at the certificate and diploma level.
It includes the introduction of specific funds, such as the TVET Education Trust Fund and the TVET-related Bootcamp Programme to increase youth competency.
In this regard, he said the allocation for TVET development especially involving the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN) including the UMP, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), and several other universities should continue to be emphasised to enable the institutions to enhance the quality of TVET and to also carry out research to meet industrial requirements.
At the same time, it is also hoped that Budget 2020 would give more grants to train graduates and encourage technology transfer from universities to the community, he added.