Abang Jo talks about his digital economy vision

Abang Johari (right) receives a souvenir from Bandigo Kangan Institute CEO Trevor Schwenke at the symposium.

KUCHING, Feb 19: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg explained that his administration is adamant in pursuing a digital economy as it is the only way to meet the needs of global economic transformations.

Speaking at the launch of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Symposium 2019 today, he said the state government’s aim was to achieve this by 2022.

“About 50 per cent of our state population (2.7 million) are below 55-years-old, and they will be the main driving force in transforming our conventional economy to a digital one. We will focus on the talent development strategy, and we plan to fully execute it by 2022.”

He emphasised that if the state wanted to be part of the global economy, it had to adjust and change, or be left behind.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong also spoke on how TVET was generally perceived to be a less attractive pathway compared to the conventional university education.

“It was often regarded as an option to those academically poor students who were not able to continue their studies or school dropouts. Consequently, TVET programmes are shunned not only by the students but their parents and society in general,” Manyin said, adding that this was why today the state is so far behind in terms of skilled workers compared to other developed nations.

Sarawak is in dire need of producing human capital to support the state’s development initiatives. Therefore, he urged parents to get rid of this stigma.

Manyin also opined that the education standard nationwide must also adjust to the needs and demands of the 21st century or the country’s younger generation would be left behind and lose their competitive edge. — DayakDaily