Keratan Akhbar : Politeknik Ungku Omar in ‘APEX’ transformation

20 December 2023
New Straits Times

New Straits Times, 4 Disember 2023

PUTRAJAYA: Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO), Perak, is set to undergo an upgrade to become an APEX (Accelerated Programme for Excellence) institution as part of the Polytechnic Transformation Programme 2023-2030, according to Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. This upgrade is considered the initial phase of the broader transformation initiative.

“This institution will offer more advanced and competitive programmes. The composition of this technology institute will see an increased offering of up to 50 per cent of degree programs. All these are geared towards developing this APEX polytechnic into an Institute of Technology,” he stated during his speech at the launch ceremony of the Polytechnic Transformation Programme 2023-2030 at the Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC).

The Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi officiated the launch, with the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, also in attendance.

Khaled mentioned that the establishment of Malaysia’s first APEX polytechnic would take inspiration from the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia, considering it a prestigious comparative model. He emphasized the importance of industry collaboration and outlined four steps to strengthen cooperation between polytechnics and industries. One key initiative involves utilizing the Government-Industry Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) Coordinating Body (GITC) as a specific platform to enhance relationships and cooperation between the government, industry, and TVET institutions.

“The ministry is confident that the strength of more than 10 associations under this body and the national TVET ecosystem will be more parallel with the development of the industry. Moreover, more than 50 industry associations, representing 10,000 companies, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GITC,” Khaled added.

The minister also announced that starting next year, individuals with disabilities (OKU) would be eligible to participate in TVET courses. “So far, TVET courses were only available for the deaf and mute, but from next year, all persons with disabilities will be allowed to participate in the program. All OKU who can undergo physical training and practical training will be eligible for all programs at the polytechnic. The ministry is prepared to offer them more places in the next 3 to 5 years,” he assured.

Currently, the Polytechnic education system has allocated 7,600 spots for graduates of community colleges and Public Skills and Training Institutions (ILKA), 1,000 for TVET foundation centres, 500 for tahfiz school graduates, 210 for Persons with Disabilities (OKU), and 100 places for Orang Asli.


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