Making education flexible and future-ready for Malaysians

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BY MAZLAN HANAFI BASHARUDIN

MALAYSIANS would now have greater access to education as they prepare to join the workforce in the era of Industry 4.0.

Recently, the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia held a Seminar on Flexible Education 2019 in Putrajaya. It was organised together with the Higher Education Department and Malaysia Qualifications Agency (MQA).

The two-day seminar was officiated by the Secretary-General of MOE, Dato’ Dr Mohd Gazali Abas, and it focused on Flexible Education, which is a new approach in teaching and learning that would cater to the needs of the millennial generation.

Mohd Gazali outlined the government’s plan to strengthen the education sector in the country. This is in line with the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (RMK-11) and the Malaysia Education Development Plan 2015-2025 (Higher Education). This would help in developing the talents as Malaysia moves towards becoming a developed nation.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail was invited to deliver the Keynote Address at the seminar. “The turn-key to the transformation of knowledge and mindset change is education,” said Asma in her keynote address entitled Imagineering 21st Century Learning.

“Disruptive changes have led to increased competition in higher education. To survive, we need to enhance accessibility, reduce costs and introduce flexible education,” she said. “In the era of convergence, flexible education is the way forward,” she added.

She emphasised that the future is about training how to learn and to be a life-long learner; flexible, adaptable and agile to respond to change, and that everyone should benefit from quality learning opportunities (inclusivity) for sustainable development and peace.

The ministries concerned are looking towards providing more flexible admissions and conducting faster Full Accreditation processes that would provide more and better choices to education for communities at all levels.

Among the themes discussed were on Recognition of Prior Learning, IR4.0-Infused and Industry-Infused Academic Programmes, Credit Transfer and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Service Learning and also Digital Entrepreneurship. – USM