PETALING JAYA: The national teachers union and an activist group have welcomed Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran’s announcement that schools will be supplied with a list of endangered jobs, saying it will be a useful aid in career guidance.
Harry Tan, the secretary-general of the National Union of the Teaching Profession, said the list would be a good additional tool for schools in their work to prepare students for the job market, and Parent Action Group for Education chairman Noor Azimah Rahim said its use could result in an easing of the problem of youth unemployment.
Kula said on Wednesday that the list would help pupils decide what courses to avoid in pursuing further studies.
The list was prepared with the support of the World Bank, International Labour Organisation, Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis and Talent Corp, an agency under the human resources ministry.
Kula spoke of the looming fourth industrial revolution, saying it could result in the irrelevance of 30% of existing jobs.
He also said many teachers he had spoken to were not sure what jobs would be out of demand.
Tan told FMT he hoped the education and human resources ministries would also consult the private sector since they were familiar with market forces.
He said teachers would always try to help students pursue their dreams, but he added that schools were facing what he called “logistical issues” that could prevent them from effectively preparing students for future jobs.
One of these problems, he said, was a shortage of English teachers and another was a lack of computer numerical control machines in vocational colleges.
Azimah warned against using the list as more than just a guide, saying the job market would keep changing with the times.
What would remain a constant, she said, was the need for students to be bilingual, to master the foundations of mathematics and science and to balance these with involvement in sports and the arts.
She urged teachers to promote creative thinking and problem solving skills among their students, saying these were sought after by employers.
“It is also important for students to have an entrepreneurial spirit when jobs are scarce and start-ups are an alternative,” she said.
“It is critical too that students exercise values of the highest standard.”