Set on producing right manpower

Abang Johari (right) putting his signature on the inauguration plaque at the opening ceremony of the Riam Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) multipurpose building.

MIRI: The Sarawak government is focusing on three integral components — education, science and technology — to produce the right manpower, especially in facing the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed this when officiating at the opening of Riam Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) multipurpose building at Riam Road Secondary School here on Tuesday (Oct 27).

He said after taking over as the chief minister, he formed a new ministry — the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research — to look after the state’s education policies in order to provide the right training to the younger generations.

“Education is lifelong learning. In other words, you have to increase your knowledge so that you are well equipped to face challenges in life.

“Then I included science. Science is an important platform to follow the changes in the landscape, be it economic or social.”

On technological research, the chief minister said, “We must adopt technology in order to add value to our career or any economic activities.”

With the world now entering a new phase where everything was knowledge based and digital, Abang Johari added, “It is important to provide the right type of education to the younger generations so that they are employable and can keep up with the changes and new technology.

“Now everything uses digital, robotic and automation tools and information. Even the Chinese Chung Hua schools here use electronic boards which are new ways to teach students.

 “Many people said that if we go digital, there will be no jobs for the people because all will be taken over by machines. But these machines will create new jobs. That is why our students must be trained and be taught about the new jobs available in the market.

“I give you an example from the transformation of horse-drawn vehicles to steam engine vehicles. People said those riding horses would lose their jobs but the transformation created new jobs — from  riding horses to steam train drivers,” he said.

“Therefore, education is an important and integral part of one’s life; it is not only to gain knowledge but also to build good character.

“Once you have the basic foundation and knowledge, you are able to pursue any career that you choose,” added Abang Johari.