KUALA TERENGGANU (Bernama) -The allocation of RM56 billion to the Education Ministry to finance various teaching and learning programmes next year is proof of the government’s commitment to build society through education.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the government’s emphasis on the Vocational and Technical Transformation Programme (TEVT) was also an indicator that skills training would be in mainstream education.
“It is an early indicator that the time has come for us to place the development of skills training among the younger generation on the same level as the focus on academics.
“This is a transformation where vocational education should be in the mainstream. In the future, we will see vocational colleges and schools, community colleges, polytechnics and training centres upgraded and expanded and given emphasis in the national education sector,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating the graduation ceremony of students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lembah Bidong yesterday.
Idris also urged parents to not only hope that their children would do well academically but should also give focus to high skills training which was much needed in certain industries now.
He also welcomed the government’s efforts to focus on the students’ abilities to master the English Language with the entry level into government institutes of higher learning for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) increased from Band 1.
The new minimum level for the MUET Band for entry into arts and social science students is now Band 2 (condition for graduation is at Band 3); science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies (STEM) at Band 3 (graduation at Band 4); while Band 4 has been fixed for law and medical studies (graduation at Band 5).
Commenting on the rebate offered by the government to encourage borrowers of the Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to repay their loans, Idris said he hoped the number of borrowers who settled their loans would increase.
However, he said, the ministry would discuss the case of borrowers who still refused to pay up despite the rebates.
Recently, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a 10 per cent rebate for borrowers who made continuous payments for 12 months until December 31, 2015.
Those who repaid their loans in full by March 31, 2015 would be given a 20 per cent discount.