A sustainable framework for technical and vocational education in malaysia

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1 Available online at Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 9 (2010) WCLTA 2010 A sustainable framework for technical and vocational education in malaysia Asnul Dahar Minghat a, Ruhizan M. Yasin b a Faculty of Education, University Technology of Malaysia, UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia. b Faculty of Education, The National University of Malaysia, UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia Abstract This study was undertaken to determine the elements of Sustainable Development in Technical and Vocational subjects and to develop the framework of sustainable Technical and Vocational subjects in secondary school in Malaysia. This research was carried out using a qualitative research method that involved participation from 12 experts purposively chosen according to their positions. Interviews guided by interview protocol were employed in data gathering. The findings revealed 16 elements that contributed to the framework. These elements are creativity, innovation, networks and partnerships, staff development programme, teaching methods, generic skills, industrial relations and internships, counseling, entrepreneurship, ICT skills, interest, recognition, knowledge, competency based training, articulation, and commitment of management Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license. Keywords: Sustainable Development, Technical and Vocational Education, Vocational Subjects, Delphi Study. 1. Introduction The concept of sustainability has been part of the discourse of international discussions since the 80s. According to Pavlova (2009), the term Sustainable Development has various meanings and definitions, depending on different organizations. However, the concept of Sustainable Development was first defined in the Brundtland Commission Report, the World Commission on Environment and Development. According to Brundtland (1987), Sustainable Development has been conceptualized in a variety of forms, one of them being, "... Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs..." Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is a key or "master key" to solving the lack of sustainable development, peace and reducing poverty (Pavlova & Chunlin Huang, 2009). Mohamed Jallah (2004), was also of the opinion that TVET is pivotal as the "master key" to the sustainability of development. According to them, Sustainable Development is a critical issue for the 21st century community, mainly because TVET plays a very important role in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). * Asnul Dahar Minghat. Tel.: ; fax: address: The Ministry of Education (MOE) recognizes the importance of Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) in promoting the aspirations of the country in becoming a developed nation by the year Thus, TVE, which encompasses a wide range of subjects has been developed widely in secondary schools. On a further note, Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi: /j.sbspro Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.

2 1234 Asnul Dahar Minghat and Ruhizan M. Yasin / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 9 (2010) Vocational Subjects (VS) comprise of 22 elective subjects in which one of the subjects in TVE has been given emphasis in the Education Development Master Plan (EDMP) by the Ministry of Education. MOE has set a National Key Performance Indicator (NKPI) specifically to expand access to quality and affordable education. In the 5th NKPI recently, TVE played a more important role in the Malaysian agenda. The Minister of Key Performance Indicators (MKPIs) Ministry of Education target of 100% student participation in both vocational and skills by the end of According to Ahmad Tajudin (2009), VS was one of the subjects in the TVE group in secondary schools which was addressed in terms of achieving NKPI-5. It is predicted that there will be a significant increase of students who will take the VS from the years 2010 to Sustainable Development stressed that the community should be concerned on how current development will affect the lives and well-being of society in the future. The implementation of VS is expected to produce a higher national workforce to enhance economic growth. An economical aspect is one element in Sustainable Development, and the VS in which the country expects to produce more students who are more likely trained in field-related skills. The main question here is what are the elements required in the curriculum of Technical and Vocational subjects at the secondary school level if it would be supportive to the sustainable development of the country? Therefore, this research is designed to identify the elements of Sustainable Development in vocational subjects in Malaysian secondary schools. It is assumed that the elements identified for the proposed improvements to the implementation of the VS goals and objectives will be comprehensively achieved through the view and consensus of the experts in the field. 2. Methodology 2.1 Research Design The method used in tandem with this qualitative study is the Delphi method. The method was chosen in order to achieve a high level of consensus on the right elements as viewed by an expert panel. Interviews were conducted to obtained elements for the sustainable VS. Elements of sustainable VS were obtained using the Nvivo analysis. The results (elements) achieved in the first phase of the study will be further used in the second round of Delphi where they were developed into items a questionnaire. The field of educational research methodology has been used extensively to predict and identify the needs in education. For example, in clinical education, Delphi studies have been used in various ways, including predicting, planning, and curriculum development (Thangaratinam & Redman, 2005). 2.2 The Study Sample The sample of this study were individuals who embodied a high level of technical and vocational education in Malaysia. However, Helmer (1968), in Steward et. al (1999), stated the difficulty researchers faced when conferring the title of " expert " upon an individual based solely on the communal assessment of their academic qualifications the level of contribution and career achievements. For the purpose of fixing the sample, the following criteria were used as a basic guide in determining the expert panel review: 1. The individual should be the holder of a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree in Technical and Vocational Education (TVE); lecturers of the Institute for Teacher Education (ITE) should have served between 10 to 15 years in the field of TVE or should have taught for more than 10 years in the TVE. 2. The individual should possess knowledge of the curriculum and implementation of TVE subjects at the university, ITE or school level.

3 Asnul Dahar Minghat and Ruhizan M. Yasin / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 9 (2010) The individual should be directly involved in the implementation of the VS, particularly individuals from the Ministry of Education. Panel experts were selected on the basis of their willingness and ability to express an opinion and encompass extensive experience on matters being discussed (French et.al, 2002). In accordance with the criteria set, the panel of 12 experts was selected (Dalkey et. al, 1972). To acquire the elements of sustainable development of VS researchers conducted personal interviews based on interview protocols provided by the researcher. 3. Findings 3.1 Delphi Study Participant Profile The twelve panel experts were eight academic staffs from Institutes of Higher Education, a lecturer from the ITE, two education officers from the Ministry of Education, and a specialist teacher. 3.2 Delphi Interview Findings The results of the interviews were analyzed using Nvivo analysis, which used a thematic approach. A framework of the Sustainable Development for VS has been established as shown in Figure 1 below. These elements for Sustainable Development will ensure the success of the implementation of VS in secondary academic schools and beyond and consequently to achieve the concept of Sustainable Development. Figure 1 : A Framework of Sustainable Development in Technical and Vocational Education 4. Discussion For the purpose of discussion, only a few elements will be discussed. Creativity, teaching methods and industrial relations are the important elements of sustainable development efforts in the particular subject. This is consistent with the recommendations of Mohd Zanal (2009) who stated that sustainable development, in particular pertaining to the development of teaching methods, interaction, participation, and collaboration in teaching and learning, should focus on hands-on experiences, visits to factories, field-work, laboratory work, and placement in specific industries. Mohd Zanal also ascertained that these methods would provide students with the necessary exposure and strengthen the sustainability of technical and vocational education. Supplementary teaching methods should also incorporate problem-solving skills, creativity, and innovation skills.

4 1236 Asnul Dahar Minghat and Ruhizan M. Yasin / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 9 (2010) Mohammad Sani (2001) considers that teachers undergo continuous education. This is prevalent particularly when viewed in a number of contexts such as changes in the educational environment itself, change in the value of school and personal values, and changes in school management. This view was also supported by Halif (2006). The state training programs and courses in this service are pivotal in enhancing the level of teaching professionalism in facing challenges, which stem from outside the profession, such as the changing aspirations of society, and changes in technology. Internal challenges faced by teaching staffs would be the situation of educational organizations (governance), such as changes in curriculum, pedagogy and changes in government educational policies. In lieu of the above, staff development programs are a key element in improving the implementation of the VS in particular to improving the knowledge and skills of teachers specializing in VS. The expert panel unanimously agreed that industrial relations were a key sustainable element with regard to the development of VS. Each student, for a certain period of time, will be placed in an industry related to their field of study. Billet (2001) viewed learning in the workplace as not only being very useful to students, but a matter which could not be avoided. Many students found the experience of working, partaking in conversation and gaining advice and knowledge from experienced employees pivotal in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for carrying out actual tasks. Further studies of learning in the workplace by Billet (1996, 1999, 2001) found that day-to-day activities in the work environment were a very important source of learning and experience to work. It was found that students received guidance in both direct form through interaction with other employees and indirect form through observation and discussion of activities in the workplace. Workplace learning is also important to teachers or trainers and should become an in-service activity as part of their lifelong learning (M.Y. Ruhizan, 2010). 5. Summary/Conclusion A framework of Sustainable Development for VS identified through the Delphi study will be used as a guide in an effort to improve the implementation of VS. In tandem with the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10 th MP), TVE, with the implementation of VS, exhibits high potential in the development and maintenance of the human capital. The economic aspects of Sustainable Development can be achieved to improve the quality of life for the people of this country. In other words, the TVE play an important role in the economic development of the nation and consequently, will contribute to a good society with high income as envisioned by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Hence, with all these elements in place, a sustainable environment should also be promoted. References Ahmad Tajudin Jab. (2009). TVET Managing in the Global Economic Downturn. Paper presented at the 6 th Annual National Technical and Vocational Education and Training Conference in Concorde Hotel, K. Lumpur, 12 th - 13 th May Billet, S. (1996). Towards a model of workplace learning: The Learning Curriculum. Studies In Continuing Education Journal, 18 (1), Billet, S. (1999). Guided learning in the workplace. In D. Abboud and J. Garrick (EDS). Understanding Learning at Work, Routledge, London. Billet, S. (2001). Learning through work: Workplace affordances and Individual Engagement. Journal of Workplace Learning, 13 (5), Billet, S. (2001). Increasing small business participation in VET: A "Hard Question. Journal of Education and Training, 43 (8 / 9), Brundtland Report. (1987). In world commission on environment and development. Our Common Future OUG. Dalkey, NC, Rourke, DL, Lewis, R., & Snyder, D. (1972). Studies in the quality of life: Delphi and decision-making. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. French, P., Psychol, C., Yin, yo ho, & Lee, L.S (2002. A Delphi survey of evidence-based Nursing Priorities in Hong Kong. Journal of Nursing Management, 10: Halif Md Salleh. (2006). Evaluation of the effectiveness of school administration program in-service training to improve teaching skills. Master Education Thesis, Sultan Idris Education University. Helmer, O. (1968). Analysis of the future: The Delphi Method. In JR Bright (Ed), Technological Forecasting for Industry and government: method and applications, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. Mohamed Jallah. (2004). UNESCO-UNEVOC-An International Experts Meeting "Learning for Work, Citizenship and Sustainability". The Experts Meeting in Bonn, Germany from 25 to 28 October Mohammad Sani Ibrahim. (2001). The development of teacher professionalism: a claim and a must. Paper presented at the National Seminar Training and Leadership Education To 10, Genting Highlands : Aminuddin Baki Institute. Mohd Zanal Dirin. (2009). Sustainable Development and TVET. Paper presented at the 6 th Annual National Technical and Vocational Education and Training Conference in Concorde Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, 12 th 13 th May 2009.

5 Asnul Dahar Minghat and Ruhizan M. Yasin / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 9 (2010) M.Y. Ruhizan. (2010). Features of Industry-Education Collaboration in Promoting Lifelong Learning for Engineering Educators of Malaysian Polytechnics. Proceeding of the 7 th WSEAS International Conference on Engineering Education (EDUCATION 10), Pavlova, M. (2009). Technology and vocational education for sustainable development- Empowering individuals for the future. United Kingdom: Springer. Pavlova, M. & Huang Chunlin. (2009). Final Report on Project of Developing Innovative Approaches in Education for Sustainable Development in Curriculum Reform TVET China. Zhejiang Technology Institute of Economy, Hangzhou, China. Education Development Master Plan , Ministry of Education Malaysia. 10 th Malaysia Plan, Steward, J., O'Halloran, C., Harrigan, P., & Spencer, J. A (1999). Identifying appropriate tasks for the preregistration year: Modified Delphi Technique. British Medical Journal, 319 (7204), Retrieved on 18 NOV 2009 from s.com/cgi/content/abstract/319/7204/224. Thangaratinam, S., & Redman, C.W.E. (2005). The Delphi Technique. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Journal. 2005:

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