Vocational grads just as capable: Manyin

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong witnessing the exchange of Memorandum of Cooporation (MoC) between PPKS represented by its Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Datuk Husain (second right) and Bendigo Kangan Institute represented by its CEO Trevor Schwenke (fourth left) Also witnessing from left are Dr. Annuar Rapaee, Government of Victoria Deputy Commissioner to South Esat Asia Leigh Howard, Datuk Seri Dr. Stephen Rundi, and State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Ghani. Photo by RAMIDI SUBARI
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong witnessing the exchange of Memorandum of Cooporation (MoC) between PPKS represented by its Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Datuk Husain (second right) and Bendigo Kangan Institute represented by its CEO Trevor Schwenke (fourth left) Also witnessing from left are Dr. Annuar Rapaee, Government of Victoria Deputy Commissioner to South Esat Asia Leigh Howard, Datuk Seri Dr. Stephen Rundi, and State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Ghani. Photo by RAMIDI SUBARI

By NUR SHAZREENA ALI

KUCHING: There is a need to tackle the misconception associated with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students and graduates.

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael ManyinJawong said vocational education had been unfairly seen as a last resort for students who did not do well in public examinations.

“For the past few decades, TVET was actually for those dropouts. In the 1960s and 70s, those who only obtained Division Three in Form Three were sent to vocational schools while those who obtained Division One and Two would continue to upper secondary.

“So since then, parents and students had the perception that vocational education is not for high achievers but for dropouts,” Manyin said at the launching ceremony of the TVET Symposium here yesterday.

He said TVET had always been stigmatized, and only a few parents supported the enrolment of their children in vocational schools.

“I’m happy to know that this has changed. We actually wanted to hold a roadshow throughout Sarawak to promote the benefits of TVET education to parents and students.

“But when I met all the directors of TVET institutions, I was told that almost all are already packed,” he said.

Awareness of the benefits of TVET for future career paths would pique the interest of parents and students to give it a go, he said.

Manyin pointed out that TVET institutions should do more to increase English proficiency and quality among students.

“Based on a study, most industry players have raised concerns about the quality of TVET graduates. Soft skills and work attitude, quality of the graduates from similar programmes from various institutions drastically creating confusion in the workplace.”

He added that stakeholders from various private sectors should engage more with TVET institutions instead of just relying on the government.

“We hope to collaborate with private sectors to help accommodate TVET students by providing expertise in an effort to enhance their competency.

“Those who graduate with TVET certificates and diplomas can apply for N22 and N29,” he said.

Manyin expressed hope that those working at the said levels would go further up to Grade N41.