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People to be sufficiently informed

People to be sufficiently informed: Deputy minister
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The Sunday Post

By Philip Wong

SIBU: The government is working on the possibility of introducing action learning programmes in both colleges and higher learning institutions in the country.

Deputy Minister for Education Datuk Ong Tee Keat admitted it was quite a heavy task as it could involve the creation of sufficient places for the trainees.

“However, our immediate priority now is to create an understanding among the people on what action learning programme is all about before we can successfully implement it,” he added.

Ong was speaking to reporters during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Times Skill development Academy (TSDA) and Value Hospitality (VH) Group of Hotels.

TSDA was represented by its business development director, Yong Yaw Wee, while Manshor Yusuf represented VH.

Ong disclosed that currently, several big corporate entities had already conducted their own in-house programmes for the course.

Ong said the programme put strong emphasis on three elements – sharing with others what you have learned, sharing your experience with others and always getting a certification for what you learn.

“These are the three basic vital elements that make up action learning programme. Master it and I am optimistic that you can be a good future trainer yourself,” he said.

Ong said students who embarked on this programme can enhance their competitiveness in the job market and always stood a better chance to grab the jobs. When the programme was first introduced last year, Ong admitted that he himself was quite puzzled as to what the programme was about.

“It took a while for me to adjust myself to the programme and now, after careful observation, I feel that the programme is indeed a good pointer that will bring about tremendous changes in the landscape of higher education in the country.”

Ong reiterated that the government was always committed to make the country the regional hub for higher studies.

“That’s why we want to get more international students, hoping that it will not only make us the regional hub for higher studies but also help the country to rake in higher revenue.”

Earlier on, Mansur, in his brief introduction of VH, said the group specialized in hotel and leisure property management.

It currently manages more than nine such properties in various locations throughout Malaysia with most of them consisting of hotels rated from two to five stars.

VH currently has its own branding, Everly and Prescott Hotels in which it denotes the various categories of hotel ratings.

“With its aggressive growth programme, VH envisages that a comprehensive ‘On Going People Development Programme’ is required for all levels of its employees.”

TSDA, Yong said, is a specialist in Business Solution Systems through its action learning process.

“We develop people to manage themselves and in turn achieve holistic organization goals. TSDA is also into certification and accrediting as it is currently one of the certified centers in Malaysia for the various programmes by professional skill bodies in the United Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, Bernama reported Ong as having said that more and more Malaysian technicians are now beginning to be gainfully employed overseas.

He attributed this to their competence through the acquisition of internationally certified and recognized training courses.

He said this was a definite plus for the country as it meant it could keep abreast with changes in the globalised world and stay competitive.

Rimbunan Hijau Group’s Technical Training Academy at Upper Lanang Road, among other things, offers training in automative repair and electronics, repair of heavy machinery and plantation machinery mechanics, which are certified by City and Guilds International. Ong said that while the government had been setting up various skills training centers under its ministries, the private sector could compliment the efforts by coming up with their own initiatives.

“However, in such endeavour, it is very important that you have proper modules, preferably with hands-on experience and other mechanisms. It is of course very important as well that your endeavours are backed by some kind of international certification,” he said, adding that the academy was a good start in providing an alternative pathway in some form of vocational training for students who want to continue their higher-level studies.

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