The missing link in TVET education Ronald Benjamin – Malaysiakini

Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:49 am

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LETTER | The Association for Community and Dialogue (ACID) appreciates the Human Resources Ministry's efforts in empowering technical and vocational education training(TVET) by developing a more relevant new policy in implementing TVETS agenda in line with industry needs.

This was outlined in the ministry's 2019 achievement report to strengthen the various sectors led by minister M Kula Segaran.

The empowerment of TVET education is unprecedented and the ministry should be commended for its efforts. This is also in line with the spirit of C 142 of ILO convention on human resources development.

While the efforts of the ministry are laudable, it is also vital to understand that TVET education by itself will not bring about the needed transformation in the education landscape of the country if there is no integration between technical training, social context and work ethics.

Integration results in having an effective and dynamic work culture.

I have come across students who graduate from TVET colleges, lack a proper understanding of what it takes to succeed in their chosen vocation. This entails an attitude of a long-term commitment to career development and the importance of interpersonal, communication and coordinating skills which has the elements of emotional and spiritual intelligence.

Being a human resources practitioner, I have come across young graduates who are very technically inclined but unable to express their knowledge well, besides not being able to recall instances of behaviours that resulted in problems being resolved or job well done that attracted good comments from superiors or teachers.

There is also the absence of general knowledge on current events in the country and how they could use such knowledge to improve themselves and the organisation they are in.

There are also issues related to grooming and inflated resumes about personal attributes that reveal little about practical work excellence. When I was in the UK last year, I had the opportunity to meet young people who were part of non- governmental organisations.

I was surprised to see young man and women aged between 24 and 27 heading departments in their respective corporate organisations, besides being part of NGOs fighting for causes dear to them.

In my conversation with them, I found a great deal of maturity that is shaped by knowledge beyond technicalities.

Therefore, it is vital that TVET education is integrated with character formation, social awareness and learning the social-psychological dynamics of an organisation.

It should be followed up with reflective learning based on experiential exposure that would test their character and social-organisational knowledge.

This is to ensure that students of TVET have a wider understanding of what it takes to succeed in their careers.

RONALD BENJAMIN is secretary the Association for Community and Dialogue.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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January 20th, 2020 at 11:49 am