Currently, the most popular buzzword is ‘disruption’. An example is the sharing economy model that disrupts the taxi business and the hotel industry.This has created waves of changes in society. In addition, the advent of Industry 4.0 which brings along artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data and robotics is scheduled to change how business and industries operate in the future. These developments make lifelong learning increasingly important and pertinent.
Pembelajaran Sepanjang Hayat (PSH) Web Portal ( http://www.mohe.gov.my/portalpsh/ )
It is heartening to note that, to this end, our Ministry of Higher Education has provision for lifelong learning and has set-up the Pembelajaran Sepanjang Hayat (PSH) Web Portal to promote and disseminate information on continuing education and training under its Ministry. The Web portal enables learners to search based on the chosen course and location (www.mohe.gov.my/portalpsh/?page_id=4705 ).
It covers courses and programs for adult education and training offered by Polytechnics, Community Colleges and other institutions of higher learning.
An attraction of polytechnics and community colleges is their affordable fees. This, coupled with their possible proximity to home/working place of learners, brings education to their doorsteps and also brings us closer to the scenario of ‘Now Everyone can Study”.
Polytechnics ( http://www.mypoliteknik.edu.my/ )
Polytechnics were initially established by the Ministry of Education to train technicians in engineering and commerce. The first Polytechnic, Ungku Omar Polytechnic, was established in 1969 with the assistance of UNESCO. It was followed by the setting up of Kuantan Polytechnic in 1975. Today, there are 33 polytechnics in Malaysia scattered over all the 14 states of Malaysia. With the support of about 7,800 academic staff, they offer approximately 87 courses in engineering, ICT, multimedia, business, art and design, hospitality and etc. to about 92,000 students.
Polytechnics have also developed internationally and there are foreign students on some campus.
In 2010, the Polytechnics went through a transformation to upgrade its status and expand the scope of its programmes. They were categorized into Premier Polytechnics, Conventional Polytechnics and Metro Polytechnics, the last of which are situated in major cities/towns to serve the working adults. The polytechnics have also progressed from providing mainly full-time courses for school leavers to offering more part-time courses to cater for adult education. Level of education has been upgraded from Diploma and Certificate levels to also cover Higher Diploma/Bachelor degree level.
Community Colleges ( http://www.jpkk.edu.my/ )
Community colleges were first established by the Ministry of Education in 2001 to provide technical and vocational education and training and to be a hub for lifelong learning at the community level. It is the aspiration of the government to set up a community college at each parliamentary constituent to serve the needs of the local community, including providing manpower training and counselling and other services for the local industry,
Today, there are 37 community colleges in the country offering both full-time and part-time courses and programs at certificate and diploma levels in the fields of engineering, hospitality, fashion, multimedia, social service, agro-technology, business and etc, in addition to short term courses, special skill courses and entrepreneurial development programs.
Together, the polytechnics and the community colleges have an extensive geographical coverage in both urban and rural East and West Malaysia.
Graduates of community colleges have the opportunity to advance to polytechnics and graduates of polytechnics have the opportunity to progress to local universities, as all three types of institutions are under the jurisdiction Ministry of Higher Education.
Via this Science Career Asia Web Portal, it is our aspiration to serve all Malaysians- both the school leavers as well as working adults who are looking for further education and training to advance their career.
Best wishes for a Progressive and Successful Career!
Ms Wee Hui Bieh, AFMSA, Aug. 2017
Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia
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