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Rekindling the hopes of a Vision 2020 Education
Published on 03 Feb 2021
KUALA LUMPUR – The KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific organised its second National Education & Learning Summit on 28th July 2020 at Berjaya Times Square Hotel with the theme on Living with Vision 2020 Education in reference to the aspirations of Wawasan 2020, a national ideal introduced by the Malaysian government in 1991 with the hopes of realising an advanced and fully developed nation by 2020. As education plays a vital role in the development of any country, the conferences was designed to examined if Malaysian and the region has taken the steps necessary to ensure the provision of education quality, especially in a time when the COVID-19 coronavirus has altered traditional forms of learning, forcing all education providers to seek online learning options.
The four sessions of NELS 2020 and its 29 speakers representing the government, businesses, academics, think tanks, and both public and private universities were brought together to examine these themes with the objective of highlighting key trends, identify challenges, and present solutions to improve the quality of education and ultimately to developed a future-ready workforce.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the education sector to undergo change to ensure health and safety to allow the teaching and learning process to continue. This includes the implementation of procedures and guidelines to allow physical forms of education to take place.
Strict movement control conditions have led to the accelerated adoption of online learning methods and other virtual forms of education. However, this sudden change has caught educators unprepared with some struggling more than others to adopt technology-driven solutions. This requires a change in mindset and a willingness to change teaching strategies. There are students lacking internet connectivity and the necessary equipment to enable online learning, causing them to fall behind.
Many education providers have struggled financially as their revenue is dependent on enrolments and student fees. With COVID-19 causing a decrease in student enrolment, some education providers have been forced to revise their budgets, make structural changes, and employ cost reductions which may include retrenching teachers in order to survive.
Education needs to account for the changing market demands with the increasing need for soft skills, positive mindsets, and collaborative attitudes which are sought by employers. Graduates must be effective and flexible. English language proficiency must be further enhanced.
The education curriculum needs to prepare students for the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with knowledge in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data, analytics, and the Internet of Things. These aspects must be taken into account as future workers need to be highly trained in the emerging technologies for the future job market. Similarly, graduates of TVET must be trained with ICT knowledge and be able to work with digital data.
Digitization practices can be embedded into ordinary day-to-day activities. Automated methods can be used to track and monitor an individual’s learning experience. Augmented reality can replace the need for physical attendance.
To improve education quality, a culture of inclusion and equity has to be developed. Underperforming and absentee teachers must be removed from the system. Greater transparency and feedback from students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors need to be cultivated to ensure accountability. Educators must be screened to ensure genuineness in becoming teachers.