Najib proposes tech training for Islamic school students

SHAH ALAM • Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday mooted the introduction of technical and vocational training for the students of tahfiz or Islamic schools, saying this would allow them to gain valuable experience.

"I suggest introducing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to tahfiz students as an addition to their abilities. They would be well versed in Quran and also have skills," The Malay Mail Online quoted the Premier as saying at the launch of a rebranding campaign for Malaysia's vocational training centres.

Datuk Seri Najib said Malaysia must strive to produce a generation with skills to undertake new jobs, which are likely to be created with the advent of technology.

Attention has zoomed in on Islamic schools, believed to have some 50,000 students nationwide, following a fire at one of these schools in Kuala Lumpur two weeks ago which killed 23 students and two teachers.

Mr Najib in April gave RM30 million (S$9.7 million) to develop tahfiz education - a move that raised eyebrows as it was a first by the government to inject substantial financial aid to empower these privately run institutions.

Speaking about technical and vocational training yesterday, he said special emphasis will be given to Industry 4.0 to establish a competitive workforce - a reference to the use of automation and data exchange in industrial technologies, including the Internet of Things, The Star newspaper reported.

Malaysia's current TVET programme focuses on fields such as hotel catering, information technology, electrical and oil and gas studies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Najib proposes tech training for Islamic school students'. Print Edition | Subscribe