Focus on better education system, address job mismatch

KUALA LUMPUR: The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) will focus on improving the country’s entire education system as well as addressing the issue of skills mismatch in the labour market.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was because the education system needs to produce quality and highly skilled human capital to meet industry’s needs.

The key measures that will be implemented to improve the country’s education system include enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to prepare students for technological changes, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

“The school environment will be more conducive with the replacement of 148 old buildings at a cost of RM1.6 billion in 2021 and 2022; while four school complexes and five new schools will be built at a cost of RM848 million.

“The technical education and vocational training (TVET) programme will be enhanced by improving the ecosystems and quality of programmes through accreditation, recognition and certification by international standards bodies as well as the introduction of TVET institutional rating system. A centralised database for TVET supply and demand will be developed,” he said when tabling the 12MP 2021-2025 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

On higher education, Ismail Sabri said a more flexible system would be created, besides establishing better cooperation with the industry to improve the quality of graduates and in fulfilling industry’s needs.

He said there would be an upgrade of facilities at several public universities, among them Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).

The 12MP would also see the introduction of digital education plans at the school and tertiary levels to ensure greater access to quality education.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said the government would ensure that more high-skilled jobs are created by attracting more new high-tech investments.

Other initiatives include encouraging the industry to shift to automation and mechanisation; restricting the entry of low-skilled foreign workers; and strengthening industry-academia collaborations.

“The Graduate Marketability Strategic Plan 2021-2025 was introduced to address the issue of mismatch in the labour market. In addition, the Job Creation Strategic Plan 2021-2023 will be introduced to enable the country to produce a more resilient and highly skilled workforce in fulfilling industry needs,” he said. – Bernama