Orang Asli community welcomes tvet institutions as bridge to better future

14 Aug 2023 07:46pm
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIC
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIC
KUALA LUMPUR - The Orang Asli community keenly welcomes the establishment of dedicated Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions as they deem education to be the bridge towards a better future for their children.

The TVET institutions will enable Orang Asli children to be on par with the children of other communities, in various fields in the future, especially in the education and economic sectors.

Single mother Melati Yukin, 56, of the Jakun tribe, who lives in Kahang, Kluang, JOHOR said she welcomes any advancement in skills and science and technology, which can help the rural-based community climb out of poverty.

"Orang Asli are talented, they can weave and make mats. With these institutions, they can showcase the community’s talents and also develop the country’s handicraft industry,” said the mother of 10 to Bernama.

Last Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government had agreed to immediately establish TVET institutions exclusively for the Orang Asli community and also announced that any Orang Asli student who obtains a university offer letter will be awarded RM1,000 in cash.

Johor Orang Asli Development Department (JAKOA) director Faisal Long said such institutions will provide wider opportunities for Orang Asli to compete in the job market, as very few of their teenagers and youth are involved in technical fields.

He said, out of the 18,475 Orang Asli living in 60 villages in the state, only 49 individuals have gone on to institutions of higher education, under the department’s scholarships.

In MELAKA, the Tok Batin of Kampung Orang Asli Kubang Badak in Alor Gajah, Besi Dulah, 42, believed that more Orang Asli children can pursue higher education, especially in TVET, following the establishment of these institutions.

"This can provide the Orang Asli children the chance to contribute towards the country in TVET fields when they succeed in the future,” he said.
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Over in PERAK, Rozi Gaharai, 45, who is the Tok Batin of Kampung Gesau Ulu Slim, said most Orang Asli parents realise now that education is the key to generating higher incomes and hoped the TVET institutions will fully benefit the community and produce a skilled workforce.

Meanwhile, Fadzil Arom, 49, the Tok Batin of Kampung Batu 6 in Tapah, said there must be sustained efforts to generate skilled Orang Asli in TVET in order to achieve the desired impact.

"Education is the way out for young people, so they can make a living. I hope they face this reality and become skilled individuals and be accepted in industries and overcome unemployment,” he said, adding that he hoped the TVET institutions will be implemented quickly.

Meanwhile, Perak and Kedah JAKOA director, Hairulnizam Abd Rahman, is confident the setting up of the TVET institutions can help the Orang Asli community go very far in their careers, as they allow them to obtain certificates or diplomas in suitable fields of employment both locally and abroad.

He said, the RM1,000 cash for those who receive university offer letters is also a big help to ease the burden of parents preparing to send off their children to university because JAKOA only provides allowances of between RM1,700 and RM4,800 per semester for students accepted into public or private colleges and universities.

A Temuan tribe youth from PAHANG, Azmani Nurdin, 25, hoped there will be clear and active promotions on the TVET institution initiative, from government agencies as well as non-governmental and youth organisations to ensure the information reaches the targeted audience.

"If they are informed that Orang Asli youth have a special place to further their studies it is easier because they know they have a place to go after finishing school... especially those who do not want to further their studies or fare poorly in school exams.

"The TVET field has more and more job opportunities now and salaries are also more stable. Furthermore, it is never a loss to obtain such skills because it will be very helpful if you want to be self-employed in the future," he said - BERNAMA

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