Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Technical and vocational training is the way to go

by Jeremy Veno reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on June 22, 2014, Sunday

Len Talif (fifth left) symbolically launches the college’s logo in conjunction to their 50th Golden Jubilee celebration. Flora is on fourth left.
KUCHING: Producing graduates with technical skills and hands-on experience is vital to propel the state’s economic growth via Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Promotion of Technical Education) Datu Len Talif Salleh said industrialised nations such as Germany and South Korea had shown what could be achieved through technical and vocational training of their human capital.
“Even though we are several years behind, there is always a point where we should start and look seriously at the importance of technical and vocational education,” he said when closing Kuching Vocational College’s 50th Golden Jubilee celebration at Jalan Batu Lintang yesterday.
Len Talif, who is also Belawai assemblyman, said technical and vocational education should not be seen as a ‘second choice’ among school leavers.
“Some who call themselves engineers from top-notch universities are still not guaranteed to produce the same quality and workmanship of students who graduated from technical institutions.”
In technical and vocational institutions, it is common to have at least 70 per cent of course work on a hands-on basis while the remaining 30 per cent are on theories and classroom subjects.
It is undeniable that most theoretical studies would falter and produce inefficient results in workshop as the rule of thumb and hands-on experience is the formula for success in any production line.
Kuching Vocational College director Flora Imor Phillips said the college had added two new subjects, namely Diploma in Accounting and Fashion and Design.
Before 2012, the college was known as Sekolah Menengah Vokasional Kuching.
It was later selected as one of the 15 schools across Malaysia to be transformed into a college under a pilot project by the Ministry of Education.
This year’s celebration started on Friday and among the activities held at the compound of the college included career showcase, stalls selling food and clothing items, sports competition, singing competition and an Open Day for the college’s automotive workshop.