KUCHING, April 30: Under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government through the Jelajah Pendidikan 2018 programme will ensure that no Sarawakian student, regardless of their race and religion, will be deprived of higher learning opportunities.
BN candidate for Petra Jaya Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said Najib had specifically requested for the programme to be carried out in Sarawak this year because he realised that applying through the traditional centralised method (UPU), students would have to go through much red tape due to limited placement slots.
Hence, through this programme which for the first time this year is held in Sarawak, Fadillah said, Sarawakian students who had missed out their chances before, or those who had just finished their SPM, STPM or other secondary school examinations, would be guaranteed a 100 per cent placement at any public or private university, college or Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) establishment locally according to their qualifications.
“The BN government understood the grouses of the ‘rakyat’ here where education opportunities are scarce. Therefore we brought to you this programme which promises to offer those coming and registering here a 100 per cent placement at any local higher learning institution according to your qualifications.
“Not only are you guaranteed placements, but you will get to know what courses are available out there as well as financial facilities available to pursue your higher learning,” Fadillah told hundreds of students and school leavers at Dewan Hikmah Petra Jaya this afternoon.
He also revealed that Bank Rakyat was offering eligible applicants RM1,500 in financial aid each for those from families with household income of RM3,000 or less.
Fadillah also gave assurance that those who could not make it to the programme could always fill up forms for the institutions and courses of their interest and submit it directly to him.
“Therefore when you go home later please spread the word around and tell your parents of this opportunity, and also the importance of education,” he added.
He stressed that not everybody would be eligible to enter universities, but TVET institutions also offer equally marketable programmes and courses which could earn its graduates very high income.
“Many people think vocational or technical training are of the lower classes. That is wrong. In fact graduates from these institutions are high in demand and if they continue to upgrade their skills, could earn very high income.
“An underwater welder for example, who only works for six months a year could earn at least RM500,000 per year,” said Fadillah.
Meanwhile, Jelajah Pendidikan 2018 organising chairman Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar explained that how the programme worked was that applicants who came would not have to go through UPU but their applications would be submitted straight to their prefered higher learning institutions, thus eliminating the red tape and hassle of waiting for their applications to get through.
“Generally, applying through UPU would mean to go through a lot of red tape. Placements would be limited and applicants would be offered based on merit. This would mean many others who are qualified but not up to the prefered merit would be left out.
“Realising this, our Prime Minister (Najib) had requested us to organise this Jelajah Pendidikan 2018 and extend it to Sarawak this year, opening offers to everyone regardless of their race. Through this programme we are opening a special path to applicants where their applications would be sent straight to the higher learning institutions,” he said.
Sahol also advised that those who are not qualified to enter university should consider TVET programmes.
He said there are 17 TVET institutions nationwide participating in Jelajah Pendidikan 2018 with various courses being offered.
“Sarawak having many development projects would need many technically skilled people. Many said it (vocational and skills training) is second class, but it’s not.
“In fact many TVET graduates have been offered jobs with high income due to the demand,” said Sahol.
The Sarawak Jelajah Pendidikan 2018 kickstarted in Batu Kawa yesterday. Tomorrow it will be held at the Miri Indoor Stadium. — DayakDaily