BEIJING, May 30 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has urged the 10,160 candidates who did not sit for the 2023 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination to further their studies in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the National TVET Council chairman, also advised these students and their parents not to be disheartened as TVET is the “answer” for them to build a career for the future.

“TVET accepts students who failed and did not sit for the SPM examination. This does not mean it (TVET is) the second or third choice but it is a second opportunity to study (for those who did not sit or the SPM),” he told a media conference in conjunction with his official visit to China here today.

Ahmad Zahid, also the minister of rural and regional development, said TVET was also suitable for the less outstanding students and candidates who did not sit for the SPM examination because it comprises 70 per cent workshop and laboratory training while the rest is classroom learning.

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On Monday (May 27), Education director-general Azman Adnan told a media conference to announce the analysis of the 2023 SPM examination results in Putrajaya that 10,160 out of the 383,685 candidates did not sit for the examination.

In addition, Ahmad Zahid said he would seek the help of all media chief editors in Malaysia to highlight and promote TVET as the first choice for students to further their studies and to intensify the awareness campaign regarding the field.

“The Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) also asked for the TVET awareness campaign to be carried out because such a campaign will not succeed without media support.

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“So, I plan to give a briefing to chief editors and news editors regarding the TVET programmes because we will launch the National TVET Policy on June 8,” he said.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid witnessed Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) seal strategic partnerships with renowned education institutions and key industry players in China, namely Liuzhou Railway Vocational Technical College, Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU), Nantong University, Alibaba Cloud (M) Sdn Bhd and KTK Dom Railway Sdn Bhd.

The collaboration focuses on emerging technologies and technological advancements in vehicle and railway technology, renewable energy, electrical vehicle, telecommunication, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

Ahmad Zahid is his first official trip to China since assuming the role of deputy prime minister in December 2022 and the visit, from May 22 to Saturday (June 1), is at the invitation of China’s Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang. — Bernama