UiTM offers new TVET programme in anticipation of rise in umrah, hajj industry

Karim (4th right) witnessed the exchanging of documents during the MOU between Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sarawak and Professional Mutawwif Development Sdn Bhd.

SAMARAHAN, Sept 30: Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sarawak is now offering a new programme, the Diploma in Mutawwif Professional and Muslim Tour Leader.

Speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) ceremony with Professional Mutawwif Development Sdn Bhd this morning, UiTM Sarawak rector Prof Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali said this was one of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs offered by the university.

“UiTM Sarawak is the first university in the state to offer such diploma to recognise the contribution and role played by the mutawwif in the national education level. The modules created are focused on the quality of special needs in the Umrah industry as well as Islamic tourism in Malaysia.

“This effort also supports the Malaysian government’s recommendation in empowering employment standard programs with the emphasis on practical components and exposure to industry training,” Dr Jamil said.

He pointed out that the programme also coincides with the government’s intention in making TVET as one of its main focus.

Students he said, are human capital who not only able to compete for employment opportunities, but also contribute to the development of various industrial sectors in the country.

“Our goal is to be the main leader in providing professional mutawwif and Muslim tour leaders based in Malaysia.

“The module is designed not only to cover Umrah alone, but also emphasising the aspects of tourism, marketing, management, business, and personal development. This can provide a solid readiness for students in holding positions as Mutawwif Professionals and Muslim Tour Leaders,” Dr Jamil added.

Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who was at the event to witness the MOU acknowledged the huge potential in the umrah and haj industry which sees the number of pilgrims performing umrah increasing every year.

“I believe that we can produce individuals to become a professional mutawwif who can guide pilgrims and tourists around the world based on Islamic tourism guides.

“I hope that one day the graduates from this program will be employed by travel agencies, not just in Malaysia but all over the world,” Abdul Karim said.

According to data released by the Ministry of Haj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia, 7.6 million umrah visas were issued in 2019.

Of that number, almost 300,000 are pilgrims from Malaysia who rank eighth out of 10 countries based on the largest number of pilgrims starting from Pakistan, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. — DayakDaily