Maszlee: We need future-proof graduates with humanistic values


THE Ministry of Education is aiming to develop future-proof graduates who carry with them the right skills, abilities and humanistic values in order to adapt to rapidly changing technology.

Its minister Dr Maszlee Malik (picture) said this is because globalisation and the fourth industrial revolution (IR4.0) will change the future of employment scene as many existing jobs could be non-existent.

Hence, higher education institutions must know what employers are looking for, and groom students in order to build the competencies that will help them stand out or stand on par with their competitors,” he said.

Maszlee was speaking to about 65 Malaysian students from and outside Paris at a meet-and-greet session at Rumah Malaysia, the official residence of the Malaysian Ambassador to France Datuk Azfar Mohammad Mustafa in Paris yesterday.

He added: “IR4.0 is a challenging era especially for humanistic values. It is not just about computers and machine learning. It is more than that which involves talent planning and innovation.

“We must be prepared to face it. As technology advances, we must continue to uphold our values by respecting each other and be equipped with the skills valued by future employers,” he pointed out.

Sharing the government’s aspiration and the ambitious Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030), Maszlee reiterated Malaysian youths have a big role to play in nation-building in line with SPV2030.

He said that demonstrates the government’s commitment to produce more skilled workers in the future.

Maszlee said he often gets complaints from industrialists that graduates lack the required skills and are unable to speak English which prompted the ministry to engage industry players to evaluate programmes and co-curricular activities offered at various higher education institutions yearly.

“What we found is that the institutions are not offering the right skills required by the companies, which resulted in Malaysian graduates being not marketable both in the country and globally,” he said.

During a question-and-answer session, Maszlee said it does not matter which country a Malaysian student graduated from, rather it is more of equipping students with cutting-edge skills valued by employers globally.

“The institutions of higher learning, too, need to play their role and responsibility in grooming students and preparing them for the workplace.

“This will enhance the competitiveness and ensure students are industry ready,” Maszlee said in response to a question by B Arvinderan, 22, a fourth-year chemical engineering student from ESCM Strasbrough University.

To another question by 25-year-old Muhammad Nasrullah Zulkafli of University of Technology Belfort-Montbeliard on how to promote greater racial integration among students towards strengthening unity, Maszlee said: “A task force will be formed to present a proposal paper to the Cabinet by involving all relevant ministries and agencies in order to foster interracial harmony, integration and unity,” he added.

Maszlee is currently in the French capital to represent Malaysia at the 40th Session of the General Conference of the Unesco.