The Director General of the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, assisted by Executive Secretary Ms. Adrienne Abril, attended two (2) meetings with Malaysia Ministry of Education officials in Putrajaya, Malaysia on January 30, 2015.

He similarly graced an interview session on February 2, 2015 at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) to provide inputs for a research on "Effectiveness of Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) in Enhancing the Competitiveness of Malay Graduates", spearheaded by UPM in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the National Higher Education Research Institute.

Meeting with Policy Development Division, Department of Polytechnic Education (DPE), Ministry of Education, January 30, 2015

CPSC strives to provide assistance to the member countries through various modes such as quality training programs, accreditation and certification, and policy advisory. As DPE is in the process of setting up an International Student Affairs Unit, CPSC hoped to impart its experiences and best practices in handling international students, particularly those from DPE's target region, the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

2015-01-meetings in malaysiaMeeting with Policy Development Division, Department of Polytechnic Education, Ministry of Education, Putrajaya, Malaysia

Seven (7) officials from Policy Development Division including the Director Dr. Mohd Rashahidi B. Mohamood, Senior Principal Assistant Director Ms. Sri Valli Suppiah, and Principal Assistant Director Ms. Wan Nor Aishah binti Wan Omar.

The division's primary aim in setting up an International Student Affairs Unit is to link with international educational partners and to recruit foreign students from ASEAN region to study in Malaysian polytechnics, which should comprise not more than 2% of the student population. Pilot testing will be done in the three (3) premier polytechnics from year 2015 to 2020.

To generate extensive inputs from CPSC, the division requested the Staff College to conduct a training program, either in Malaysia or in CPSC Headquarters in Manila, Philippines on handling international programs and participants. The program was proposed to be held during the first half of year 2015.

Meeting with Instructional and Digital Learning Division, DPE, Ministry of Education, January 30, 2015

In an effort to continue the pursuit of quality and excellence in TVET, the CPSC DG and Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) President Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub met the APACC National Coordinator for Accreditation (NCA) for Malaysia Pn. Noor Aidi Nadzri, Director of Instructional and Digital Learning Division, DPE and several officials, to discuss the 2nd batch of institutional review visits. Four (4) polytechnics namely Politeknik Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah (POLISAS), Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah (PSAS), Politeknik Seberang Perai (PSB), and Politeknik Kota Bahru (PKB) will be visited by APACC in the months of March and April 2015.

It may be recalled that three (3) premier polytechnics were visited by APACC in February 2014 and were all awarded gold – the first polytechnics to ever receive the highest award among TVET institutions in countries subscribing to APACC.

2015-01-meetings in malaysia 02Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, APACC President & CPSC DG (left) and Pn. Noor Aidi Nadzri, Director of
Instructional and Digital Learning Division, DPE (center) during the discussion

Topics for discussion included on-site visit dates, logistical arrangements, list of accreditors, payment of fees, and current status of accredited polytechnics. Apart from Pn. Noor Aidi, twelve (12) high officials from DPE attended the meeting.

Research Interview with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), February 2, 2015

UPM invited the CPSC DG to act as a professional expert for the research titled "Effectiveness of TVET in Enhancing the Competitiveness of Malay Graduates". For this purpose, Dr. Rokimah Mohamad, Chief Researcher, assisted by Ms. Nurulyaqin Mohamad, set up an interview on February 2, 2015 at UPM. The purpose of the interview was to obtain information from Dr. Naim as TVET Expert on the effectiveness of Malay students in the TVET field.

A lively discussion ensued with special focus on suggestions on how to make TVET the main stream and popular choice among Malaysian students, the steps to be done by TVET providers to help students from all social background to excel, issues on industry-institute linkages in education, and the types of TVET programs needed for high income workforce.

2015-01-meetings in malaysia 03(Clockwise) Ms. Nurulyaqin Mohamad, Dr. Rokimah Mohamad, and Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub

Dr. Naim stressed that Malaysia, being a middle income country, must endeavor to produce highly skilled workforce through skills development and should innovate more to reach high economy status. In order to attain high quality TVET, the government must ensure the readiness of teachers, availability of equipment, appropriate curriculum, and efficient delivery of programs with stakeholders' participation.