TELUK INTAN, March 19 — The Education Ministry is giving special emphasis on improving the agricultural programmes at Kolej Vokasional (KV) as student participation in the programme is still low nationwide.
Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said this year, a total of 2,025 students were following the agricultural programme in five KVs, namely, in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan; Dato’ Lela Maharaja, Negeri Sembilan; Teluk Intan, Perak; Chenor, Pahang and Lahad Datu, Sabah, and the figure was lower than the actual capacity.
He said another KV in Pagoh, Johor, would be opened for new recruits this year.
“That is why the ministry is giving this special emphasis as agriculture is a big industry to be explored with the use of technology, hence (creating) the expertise needed in the industry.
“We are making a series of visits to several agricultural KVs for us to make improvements so that parents will see the KV as a place for them to get their children into the agriculture field in a much different context that takes into account the latest technology,” he said after a working visit to the KV (Agriculture), here, today.
Radzi said the ministry was also looking at the main focus of the agricultural programme in all the KVs to improve the programme in each KV.
“We are looking at their areas of strength, for example, in KV Chenor it is more towards aquaculture while in KV Pasir Puteh, it is more to (agro-industry) ruminants. We want to see how we can improve on what is offered,” he added.
On the perception of parents who are still less confident about sending their children to the KVs, Radzi said this should not arise looking at the number of students, for example, from KV Teluk Intan who were either employed or self-employed after graduation. The rate is at 100 per cent.
“The ministry always strives to ensure that KV students obtain education that is in line with the latest technological developments to ensure that they all get accustomed to new technology, especially when joining the workforce later.
“We are aware that there are still parents who feel that the opportunities provided at KVs may not promise a good future (for their children) but based on the data available, they are needed by the industries while many have become entrepreneurs,” he added.