THE plan to remove the arts and science streams in schools would make Malaysia’s education holistic, allowing educators to develop future-proof graduates for the future job market which is increasingly driven by technology.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong said today’s world requires holistic talents and the separation between arts and science education may not be suitable in producing human capital for future demand.
“The removal of ‘false dichotomy’ between arts and science stream will eventually encourage people to think more holistically in terms of education because the real world does not operate that way — as if you are an art or science person separately. I think the job market of today and the future would need somebody that is trained more holistically,” Sim said after witnessing the launch of the Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) programme in Malaysia by IBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Sim said the government is committed to making the technical and vocational education training (TVET) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education as mainstreams evidently through the increased budget from RM5.7 billion for TVET last year, to RM5.9 billion in Budget 2020.
Meanwhile, the Education Ministry (MoE) deputy secretary general for strategic planning Datuk Kamel Mohamad, who presented the document exchange with IBM on the P-TECH programme, said TVET should not be viewed as a “second class” education compared to any other academic curriculum.
Kamel said TVET in Malaysia is also aspired to nurture human skills among students for them to be better at engaging the community besides its core agenda to build technical skills.
The P-TECH programme by IBM is designed to enhance vocational curriculum at schools through mentorship, site visits, internships and few others.
Established in 2011 by IBM in partnership with educators, P-TECH has been introduced in 24 countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore.
In Malaysia, IBM begins pilot P-TECH programmes with Sekolah Menengah Vokasional (SMV) Sepang and SMV Sungai Buloh in Selangor.
IBM Singapore and Malaysia corporate social responsibility leader Sarah Ong said the P-TECH education will commence with 60 students for approximately five years.
IBM collaborated with Malaysia Digital Economy Corp as a strategic partner in the programme.
At IBM, we are acutely aware of the urgent need for technical skills in many countries and P-TECH is very much in line with the needs of Malaysian employers. IBM AsiaPacific CEO and chairman Harriet Green said.