YPPB Offers A Way Forward For Academically Challenged But Talented Youngsters
By Nurul Halawati Azhari
KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 (Bernama) -- Around this time, thousands of school leavers who have completed their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) would be anxiously waiting for their letter of offer for further studies from both private and public institutions of higher learning (IHLs).
For those who have done well, anxiety may not be there, and the next step would be to pursue higher education at a private or public institution of higher learning.
However, not all youngsters fall into this category, as there would be some with borderline results, who might not gain entry into IHLs, and there would be those who could have been unlucky in the academic field so far and their wish of pursuing higher studies may seem like a fantasy.
There would also be some youngsters from families with limited financial resources, and they may end up sacrificing the "luxury" of further studies.
Then, there will be another category of youngsters, who would not have even reached the fifth form and who could have left school as early as while doing their form four.
A minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, said based on the statistics he had been given, the number of youngsters between the ages of 15 and 16 who actually go on to continue their studies in the fourth and fifth forms is much lower than the population of the age group.
On an average, based on the population of 1.076 million people in this group, only 832,000 will continue their schooling to forms four and five. This means that 244,000 people will not continue with forms four and five.
"We are certain that from this 244,000, there will be some who will be continuing their education with non-government schools, but we are also sure that a large number of them actually stop their education altogether," he said.
This last group of youngsters are the ones who are a cause for concern, said the minister, when met at the launch of the Bumiputera education foundation, Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera's (YPPB) vocational education programme, Peneraju Tunas Iltizam.
Expressing his concern for their future, he said: "We are aware that many factors could have contributed towards this scenario. Some of them may not have excelled in their academic studies, but they could be highly talented in other areas.
"Some could have been also clever in their studies but due to difficult family circumstances, they might have sacrificed (their education)," he added.
PENERAJU TUNAS ILTIZAM
YPPB's Peneraju Tunas Iltizam programme has been devised for lower secondary school leavers who could have been unlucky in their studies but still have the confidence and desire to compete and are in need of guidance.
These school leavers could also have been less inclined to academic achievement but have not had the opportunity to study further in a vocational or technical school.
Under the programme, they will be equipped with specific skills that will enable them to have a career and a better life ahead.
Those who qualify will be trained and guided towards being certified for skills in high-impact fields, getting suitable jobs and being citizens who would carry out their duties to the country, race and religion.
The programme has been aimed at Bumiputeras, between the ages of 17 and 19, with minimum ability to read and write. They should also come from homes which have household income of RM3,000 and below. They should also possess a positive attitude and the ability to communicate.
They will undergo skills training programmes that are recognised both locally and overseas.
POTENTIAL FIELDS IN THE INDUSTRY
YPPB has identified several areas of skills to be offered under the programme, including the Painting and Blasting Specialist programme and the Scaffolders Erectors programme for oil, gas, energy and marine industries, while the Cosmetologist programme will be for the beauty industry and the Telco Infra Specialist programme will be for the telecommunications industry.
After undergoing technical training for three months, participants will have the opportunity to undergo industrial training for nine months in selected companies.
YPPB's Chief Executive, Raja Azura Raja Mahayuddin, said as alumni of the Peneraju Tunas Iltizam programme, they would also be supervised and given guidance or support for three years by a mentor selected by YPBB.
This is to ensure that they have adapted well to their work and are progressing in their lives.
It will certainly be a win-win situation for both the programme participants and their potential employers, said Raja Azura.
A participant will gain employment more suited to his/her skills, while employers will save on the cost of training as well as the employment process as the programme will supply the required skilled staff to the respective industries directly.
YAYASAN PENERAJU PENDIDIKAN BUMIPUTERA
YPPB is an initiative under the Bumiputera Economic Direction, launched by TERAJU, a unit under the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister's Department.
It has been tasked with building capacities of the Bumiputera community in a solid and regular way.
Among the objectives of the foundation is to raise the level of quality, quantity and effectiveness of Bumiputera talents, in line with the government's aspirations towards a high income nation via academic and vocational education.
YPPB's duty is to ensure that the capacities and expertise of Bumiputera talents will continue to be enhanced in order for them to compete in the global arena.
In carrying out its duty, the mobile team of YPPB has also gone into the deep interiors of the country to locate candidates suitable for guidance.
Among them is a student from the Penan community, who also became the first Penan student at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
This success further inspired YPPB to find another Penan student, who is currently studying in Melaka.
FOUR MAIN THRUSTS
All the YPPB programmes come under four main thrusts, namely Peneraju Tunas, which is a scholarship programme, Peneraju Skil (skills based programmes), Peneraju Profesional (professional courses), and Peneraju Pemimpin (leadership programmes).
Last year, it introduced five programmes involving around 500 participants or scholarship holders, who are currently studying at Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) and at institutions of higher learning for the Tunas Potensi and Geliga programmes, which come under the Tunas scholarship programme.
Meanwhile, a number of participants undertaking professional programmes such as accountancy have been employed in accounting firms. Those pursuing welding, under the skills based programme, have also been offered jobs in selected oil and gas companies.
Since its establishment in 2011, YPPB has launched seven programmes, including the Peneraju Tunas Potensi, a scholarship programme for SPM/STPM holders, and the Peneraju Tunas Geliga, which is a scholarship programme for primary school leavers as well as an electrical skills programme.
The more recent programmes are the Skim Prihatin Pendidikan 1Malaysia (SSP1M), which is aimed at all Malaysians, and the Peneraju Tunas Iltizam, which offers scholarships for lower secondary school leavers.
For those having completed SPM/STPM in 2012, the Program Peneraju Tunas Potensi will be offering 500 scholarships this year. This is more than twice the number of scholarships offered last year - 210.
1MALAYSIA EDUCATION SCHEME FOR ALL
The SPP1M or 1Malaysia Education Scheme, which is open to all Malaysian students, started taking in applications in March, after its launch by the prime minister.
The scheme offers additional financing by banks for qualified students to pursue courses in both local and foreign institutions of higher learning.
Further details on all the programmes and application forms can be obtained at the following websites: www.penerajuedu.com and www.facebook.com/penerajuedu.