Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who also the Education Minister. (Photo: Tuan Roslan)

SUNGAI SIPUT — The Education Ministry will double the intake of vocational students, from the current 10 per cent to 20 per cent or more, within the next five to 10 years, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

To achieve this, he said, the government would expand the scope of vocational education, making it more compelling to students and no longer regarded as a second choice.

The initiative would also allowed students who opted for vocational education to pursue the field right up to university level, he said.

“A committee chaired by the education director-general has been set up to study the scope expansion,” he said at a get-together with Kuala Kangsar educators here Thursday.

Vocational education would provide the country with skilled workers, he said, adding that about 80 per cent of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia leavers were unskilled.

Muhyiddin said however that the scope expansion would require a huge fund as well as the support of all.

“In some countries, vocational is given emphasis. In Indonesia, for instance, nearly 40 per cent of students are taking vocational study. In France, 40 per cent of students are in the vocational stream,” he said.

In Malaysia, however, vocational was only an alternative for those who failed to obtain good results, he said, adding that the country needed highly-skilled manpower under the New Economic Model.

He also said that the government was looking into increasing the per capita allocation for sports activities, from RM2.40 to RM4 for each student, to intensify sports activities in school.

“Next year, I will be heading a pro-tem committee to restructure sports in school,” he said.

He also said that the government would explain the move to allow DG41 and DG48 teachers to be active in politics.

This was clear up any confusion, including among teachers who were previously active in politics but were promoted to higher grades and wanted to remain politically active, he said.