M’sia skills institute eyes collaboration with IBTE
MALAYSIA’S MARA Skills Institute (IKM) is looking to collaborate with its Bruneian counterparts, particularly the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) to prepare youths as future leaders in the oil and gas industry, its director said yesterday.
Besides exchange programmes, Azman Ali said IKM is also looking for partners to develop proper reference materials on the oil and gas industry, noting that these are still quite limited within the region.
He said this is important as it could further standardise and improve the teaching and learning methods in technical education institutions, as well as set better benchmarks in measuring students’ industrial competency levels.
“Looking towards progressing student’s competency level to serve specific industries is always the aim of every technical institution especially when it comes to preparing locals who may helm the industries one day,” he said during his official visit to IBTE Jefri Bolkiah Campus in Kuala Belait, together with five other officials from the Malaysian institute yesterday.
“At the moment, we may depend on expatriates and other foreign experts, but what would happen if one day they decided to leave our country and its industries? We have to be prepared for that and this is why, having regional collaborations is currently important for us,” he added.
Brunei, he said, is amongst the countries chosen due to location and its being a prominent oil and gas producer in the region. IKM is located in Bintulu, Sarawak.
Malaysia, he said, has spent around RM80 million to build skills training facilities particularly for its oil and gas industry, “and it would be a shame if it is only used to fit in our own syllabus while in fact, it can actually accommodate trainings for our regional partners,” he said.
“And while we have such facilities, other countries particularly Brunei may have entirely different facilities and machineries from us — and that is where we can benefit from that, especially when we have exchange programmes, not only for students, but also our lecturers,” he added.
The director said he hoped there will be more discussions to come to see what other possible joint ventures they can make with Brunei and its IBTE.
The Brunei Times