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Community College strives to build digitally-literate society

0 month ago, 27-Aug-2021

Ts Zainab Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 27): The initiative to develop a digitally-literate community will be one of the new missions of the Community Colleges Lifelong Learning (PSH) approach through the strengthening of the programme under the Community College PSH Action Plan 2021-2025.

In addition to this mission, four other missions will be the guide and focus of the PSH implementation for the next five years starting this year until 2025.

Polytechnic and Community College Education Department director-general Ts Zainab Ahmad said that the second mission of PSH is to improve the quality of life and well-being of the community through efforts to strengthen the cooperation of all ministries that run PSH, especially through subscribed programmes (customised) for the disabled (OKU), single mothers, youth and unskilled workers towards building more sustainable life.

She said the third PSH mission is to increase collaboration with the industry through the implementation of the Joint Programme, Customised Programme, Private Public Partnership and Industry on Campus, which would be further intensified.

The effort, she added, among others, is aimed at reducing the skills mismatch with the needs of the industry and producing future-ready talent.

According to her, the fourth mission is to strengthen entrepreneurship as the entrepreneurial element is identified as one of the important components for the success of the countrys economic transformation process towards a high-income and innovation-driven economy.

Next is to strengthen the Lifelong Islamic Education (PISH) programme by expanding the programme to converts. Outreach to non-Muslims is also planned to increase cooperation and understanding not limited to students of tahfiz and pondok institutions only.

The implementation of PISH needs to be realigned with existing policies and improved to be in line with current needs. Therefore, its implementation will emphasise on skill courses with an entrepreneurial model to produce entrepreneurs among the target group, she told Borneo Post recently.

Elaborating further, Zainab said that on her side they have come up with several Community College PSH plans for this year, including the PSH 2021 course which helps community colleges to plan the PSH calendar in a more focused and organised manner.

She said it takes into account the new direction and focus groups with a total of 2,925 PSH courses for youths, single mothers, senior citizens, B40, OKU and Orang Asli have been planned involving all 104 community colleges covering 93 parent community colleges and 11 branch community colleges.

Apart from that, two PSH programmes under the 2021 Budget, namely the Skills Programme for Students at Tahfiz institutions and Pondok schools (PKTP) and the Community Entrepreneurship Programme are also planned for this year, she added.

According to Zainab, PKTP will be implemented by all community colleges with a target of 22,602 participation among students of tahfiz institutions and boarding schools while the Community Entrepreneurship Programme targets 1,021 participants from certain groups such as the destitute, small entrepreneurs, youth and single mothers trained as entrepreneurs in various fields.

Also planned is the collaboration of PSH between community colleges with the cooperation of other agencies by state to implement the planned PSH programmes so that its implementation can achieve the objectives at the optimum level, she added.

On PISH, she said various Tahfiz Student Skills Programmes have been implemented over the past year covering various selected skill areas including cooking and baking, sewing, light vehicle servicing, air conditioning maintenance, and food processing.

She informed that there was a total of 10,846 PISH participations covering students of tahfiz institutions and pondok schools as well as the community with 612 courses conducted.

Overall, the Community College PSH programme that has been implemented has seen 3,148,539 participants from the target group with a total of 145,341 courses being implemented, she said.

Meanwhile, to ensure that the PSH remains relevant and accepted by the community, its strengths and advantages will continue to be highlighted which, among others, will enable the industry to claim PSH fees with Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).

Zainab said the registration fee is RM5 per course with a minimum course duration of five hours. The cost does not include the raw material fee charged, which is subject to the course followed.

The calculation of the cost of raw materials is set based on courses such as the Basic Baking Course where the cost of raw materials like flour, sugar and butter has to be paid by the participants.

However, they can bring back the baked item after the course ends, she said.

She added that the implementation method of PSH is also flexible with the concept of Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime where the programme can be made according to the demands of the industry and the community.

Participants of the sewing course will be exposed to sewing basics in theory and in practice.

The course is conducted in the form of theory and practice. For example, for a garment sewing course, at the beginning of the course participants will be exposed to the basics of sewing theoretically before they sew clothes step by step in practice. This method also differs between each course, she explained.

Zainab revealed that there were 10 of the 22 skill areas that had the highest participation over the past year including Catering and Food; Computers and Information Technology; Self Development and Motivation; Graphics and Multimedia as well as Business and Entrepreneurship.

Also receiving response were Sewing and Clothing; Beauty and Grooming; Industrial, Spiritual and Religious Programmes as well as Electrical and Electronics, she said.

She said that the participation of PSH brings many benefits to the participants such as being able to improve the skills and knowledge of the community in various fields that can generate income as well as improve their socio-economic status through income generation after being provided with skills and knowledge.

She said that the awarding of the Modular PSH Certificate will also entitle participants to further their studies through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) route.

Another benefit is to spread educational opportunities through PSH offered by community colleges and to show that PSH can be one of the methods to improve careers and socio-economy, she said.

The kuih making course at Gerik Community College was attended by various women associations and NGOs.

Zainab, however, admitted that the implementation of the Community College PSH has its share of challenges, especially with the pandemic that is still raging.

The challenges faced by community colleges, she said, included the difficulty in obtaining funding to implement PSH programmes as well as the difficulty in obtaining participation from community, industry and agency.

This is because the parties involved are facing financial problems due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from that, the implementation of PSH online is also challenging, she said.

The public can join PSH or get more information on the community college website at https://www.mypolycc.edu.my/ or through advertisements for courses offered by their nearest community colleges.

They can also liaise directly with the management of the nearest community college.

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