Student intake at polytechnics, community colleges down by 12.8 pct
KOTA BHARU - Student intake for polytechnics and community colleges have dropped by 12.8 per cent this year, said Polytechnic and Community College Education Department’s director of Student Recruitment and Development Department Azirin Abdul Aziz.
He said that, generally, about 100,000 students are accepted annually for both educational institutions, but the number had decreased slightly to 80,000 this year.
"Not all the programmes offered have experienced a drop in the number of students. There is a decline in the engineering-related field, where we find that there is a lack of interest among school students in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem).
"If this shortage continues, it's possible that in five years, there will be a drop in job opportunities in this field because we are offering programmes based on the current demand of industries,” he told reporters at the National-Level "Cinta dan Air Mata” Town Hall programme, here, today that was also attended by Kelantan Police chief Datuk Muhamad Zaki Harun.
Azirin said although no specific study was carried out, the decline in the number of students is believed to be related to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and students more inclined towards working instead of continuing with their studies due to the socioeconomic situation of their families.
He said although it is not a steep decline, the trend of students lacking interest in continuing their studies will have an impact on the country’s future.
"This is because the goal of wanting to reach developed country status has to start with education, at least at the certificate or diploma level.
"Promotional measures will continue to be intensified at both the institutional level involving target groups like schools and at the national level such as the Jom Masuk U programme," he said.
He said the job marketability of polytechnic and community college graduates stands at over 90 per cent and, as such, it will not be a problem for students to get a job after graduation. - BERNAMA