ESEB2054: TOMORROW Marks The Start Of A New Year, Bringing With It The Opportunity To Enhance Malaysia’s Education Sector:

Question

Time to rethink higher edu

TOMORROW marks the start of a new year, bringing with it the opportunity to
enhance Malaysia’s education sector.

In particular, the tertiary education sector needs to embrace lifelong learning,
technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and flexible digital learning if we are to meet the Prime Minister’s call for prioritizing quality education in the year ahead.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Nov 7 stressed the need to improve academic
performance in schools and institutions of higher learning.

This, he said when launching the pilot project on redeveloping dilapidated schools at SK Bandar Baru Bangi in Selangor, would be a priority in 2024.
While the Education Ministry is engaged in fine-tuning the new 2027 school
curriculum, private tertiary education providers are calling on the Higher Education Ministry to prioritise improving the country’s post-Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) education system to better address current challenges and to keep up with evolving global trends.

National Association of Private Educational Institutions (Napei) secretary-general Dr Teh Choon Jin said the ministry should focus on redesigning the current system to embrace lifelong learning and to foster a flexible learning system that enhances accessibility to higher education.

“Recognising that a significant number of post-SPM graduates may not be enthusiastic about pursuing higher education, it becomes crucial to make tertiary education more appealing and adaptable,” he told StarEdu.

He added that focus should be placed on aligning educational programmes with industry needs to mitigate underemployment issues.
“Given the dynamic nature of the global higher education landscape, it is imperative for the ministry to ensure that Malaysia remains competitive and responsive to emerging trends,” said Teh.

The ministry, he said, should also spearhead efforts to accelerate the digitalisation of higher education and optimise the digital learning ecosystem.
This, he added, includes digitally-supported in-person learning, hybrid and online learning models, digitally-native pedagogy, and the development of industry-relevant microcredentials and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

He said flexible education systems such as the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning and MOOCs should be strengthened to allow more people to access them.At the same time, a comprehensive overhaul of TVET programmes needs to be carried out, he said.