WHAT IS TVET?
As we are acutely aware, there are just too many fresh graduates who cannot get a job because they do not have the right set of skills that matches industry needs. According to UNESCO and the International Labor Organization (ILO), TVET is defined as “aspects of the educational process involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupants in various sectors of economic and social life” (UNESCO and ILO, 2001). In addition to technical knowledge and aptitude, increasing emphasis is on “softer” skills i.e. communication, the art of negotiation and teamwork.
Such skills will not only support economic development but will also empower people to take charge of their lives and raise their living standards. It is heartening that the government is currently giving attention to the empowerment of TVET education. MQA has also given us the assurance that diploma and advanced diploma holders will be acceptable for entry into higher education institutions. Previously universities would in addition, insist on a pass in SPM qualifications.
With the new government policies in place for TVET graduates, it is now very very possible for TVET graduates to secure higher income jobs than their academic graduate counterparts like never before. We will therefore expect a huge national shift and transformation with raised living standards and stronger, more competitive economies. Such empowerment and inclusivity will prepare our graduates for more active participation in society, enhancing their self-esteem in the process and directly contribute to a future of stability, equitability and sustainability.