INCHEON: Korean polytechnics are looking forward to work with Malaysia to further develop technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
Korea Polytechnics Education and Training Bureau director-general Cho Sung Hwan said they were ready to help establish TVET schools in Malaysia or develop the system in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), among others.
“We have formed a global network with Malaysia’s Department of Polytechnic Education since May 2017.
“We hope that we can offer more assistance to your country,” he told the New Straits Times during a visit to the Korean Polytechnics Incheon campus here.
The visit was part of a one-day internship programme under the 2019 Kwanhun-KPF Press Fellowship in Seoul.
The NST had been selected to represent Malaysia in the month-long fellowship this year.
Journalists from Brunei, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Mongolia, the Philippines and Vietnam also participated in the programme.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had often stressed that TVET must be a top national priority.
He had also said that TVET was a game changer in the government’s efforts to produce a more highly-skilled local workforce.
Elaborating, Korean Polytechnics Industrial Partnership Department director/professor Ahn Jongbok said: “We are always ready to help Malaysia”.
He said they organised annual international technology volunteer programmes where their students would visit Malaysian colleges to share Korea’s technical skills.
He added that they were also looking into developing language exchange programmes between the two countries.
“It is good if we can be of help to your country to further develop TVET,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cho said to change the perception that TVET was associated with “low pay and dirty work”, the Korean polytechnics had been focusing more on IR4.0 compared to fundamental industries like they did in the 1960s.
In the past five decades, Korean polytechnics have trained over 66,000 students, promising an 85.8 per cent employment rate upon graduation.
They have 35 campuses throughout South Korea along with a high school and two training centres.
Besides Malaysia, it also has a network with other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It has also worked with France, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.