Future proofing education for IR 4.0

30 Jan 2020 / 11:51 H.

    PARENTS today tend to bend over backwards to ensure their children get the best education because they believe good education equals good employment prospects.

    However, the World Economic Forum in 2016 reported that 65%  of children entering primary school at the time will ultimately work jobs that have yet to exist.

    It also predicted over five million jobs would be disappear by this year. The trend is set to continue. How then do parents prepare their children if the jobs they are preparing for cease to exist.

    The most apparent step is to get the education system to evolve with the times so that future generations can keep up with the future workforce.

    The Education Ministry has made it clear that one of its goals is to develop future-proof graduates with the right set of skills, abilities and humanistic values through educational transformation.

    It has also acknowledged that globalisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) will change the future of employment with many current jobs no longer existing in the years to come.

    “In the face of the IR 4.0 era, we have to deal with expertise which never existed before and many new fields. So we need to equip our children with IR 4.0 technologies,” former Education Minister Maszlee Malik said last year.

    However, he had said, education institutions were currently not offering the right skills and this has caused Malaysian graduates to become less marketable.

    Cognisant of the problem, the ministry had engaged industry players to provide annual evaluation of programmes and co-curricular activities offered at various higher education institutions to ensure they adhere to industry needs, thereby increasing the marketability of graduates.

    Industry 4.0 Malaysia Association president VKK Rajasekaran approved of the move and suggested that the ministry also look into curating courses and programmes in line with IR 4.0.

    “More than 60% of fresh graduates today remain unemployed even after a year. This is partly the result of the mismatch between the programmes offered and market demand.

    “There has to be a parallel shift of what is being taught in schools and universities as they do not
    meet market demands,” he told Bernama in a recent interview, adding that this was necessary to prevent local talents from going abroad to find better employment opportunities or better-paying jobs. – Bernama

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