| James Kon |
INITIAL findings from the National ICT Manpower Master Plan survey has identified that exiting national institutions for ICT education and training are unable to meet the demand for ICT professionals both in terms of the quantity and the quality.
To address the issue, the Ministry of Education through the implementation of transformation of technical and vocational education, is realigning the current programmes, revealed Minister of Education Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong in his opening address at the Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) ICT Forum 2015 yesterday.
Under the transformation of technical and vocational education, the fundamental shift in policy will focus on six key areas, namely course restructuring, expanding apprenticeship options, more opportunities for progression, upgrading the training system, a new scheme of teaching service and renaming DTE and vocational institutions.
The minister said the transformation would not be a normal project as it is a major undertaking in support of Brunei Darussalam Vision 2035.
The development and implementation would require strong support from government agencies and stakeholders, he added.
“The new system will also focus on providing apprenticeship options that can increase employability and employers’ satisfaction.”
Currently, there are 60 apprenticeship spots but it is hoped that this will increase to 200.
The ministry is working closely with large organisations and small medium enterprises to help create an environment where apprenticeship is made available to people.
By shifting the focus towards demand instead of supply, he said, “technical and vocational institutions will be able to better match students’ skills with the competencies required in the private sector as well as promote a more diverse array of occupations”.
David Kay, CEO of TelBru, in his welcome speech, echoed similar concerns on the lack of a qualified workforce in ICT.
“The lack of skilled manpower is another area that may hamper the development of the ICT industry.
“This can slow down the adaptation of new technologies across public and private organisations.”
Kay also noted that under the new national education system for the 21st Century (SPN21), the ministry has made ICT an integral part of the school curriculum.
This is in line with the worldwide trend of efforts being made to use ICT to enhance students’ learning. The forum is the first of the TelBru Coffee Talk series.
It examines different facets of the ICT industry and provides TelBru with a platform for discussions with its current and potential customers on the vision and future of the ICT landscape for Brunei Darussalam.