Higher Education director-general Datin Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir (second from right) at the World Engineering, Science and Tech-nology Congress in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. With her is Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin (third from right). PIC BY SADDAM YUSOFF

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA needs to have 500,000 scientists and engineers by 2020 to deal with the challenges of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), based on statistics from the National Council for Scientific Research and Development.

There are 70,000 registered engineers, which are only 17 per cent of the figure.

Higher Education director-general Datin Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said: “These are staggering numbers for us at the Education Ministry.”

She said this at the two-day World Engineering, Science and Technology Congress (Estcon 2018) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.

“Therefore, it is paramount that our nation has more programmes and platforms to build interest in technology and engineering. Education is one of the most important investments a country can make for its people and its future.

“To enhance our nation’s education, the approach used in teaching and learning must align with the needs of IR4.0. It is essential to establish the curriculum while taking into consideration the design principles of this era of digitisation.

“The implementation of technology in the classroom will improve teaching delivery. We see a widespread use of smart boards and tablets as learning aids in futuristic countries.

“Aside from tools used in the classroom, we also see a revolution in student analytics.

“As we march into IR4.0, a major change in teaching technology and analytics is bringing us to an age where learning becomes more personal and accessible to all. Through the use of big data and cybersystem automation, educators are able to evaluate the performance of students in real time.

“By analysing and plotting the strengths and weaknesses of each individual, education of the future is able to customise teaching styles to suit the abilities of every student.”

More than 1,000 research and innovation experts from 40 countries took part in Estcon 2018. More than 3,000 visitors are expected to visit the exhibition.

The congress is organised by Universiti Teknologi Petronas with support from the Education and Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministries, Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Yayasan Universiti Tek-nologi Petronas and Sirim Bhd.