The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) Director General Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub made a presentation about its accreditation body, the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) to officials of the Department of Community College, Ministry of Education in Putrajaya, Malaysia, headed by its Director General YBhg. Dato' Amir Bin Md. Noor on March 19, 2015. Dr. Naim was accompanied by Mr. Alexander C. Mercado, Executive Director of the Technical Vocational Schools and Association of the Philippines, Inc. (TEVSAPHIL) and Ms. Adrienne T. Abril, CPSC Executive Secretary.
Several high ranking officials of the Department and Directors of Community Colleges were in attendance during the meeting – Mohd Nasir bin Abd Ghani, Deputy Director General; Zainab Binti Ahmad, Director, Policy Division; Rosli bin Idris, Director, Examination and Assessment Division; Hj Wan Izni Rashiddi bin Wan Mohd Razalli, Director, Academic and Continuing Education Division; Mohd Faisal bin Ishak, Director, Collaboration and Entrepreneurship Division; Badarudin bin Kusni, Information Management Division and Corporate; and the Directors of Langkawi Tourism Academy, Kolej Komuniti Bukit Beruang, Kolej Komuniti Kuala Langat, and Kolej Komuniti Kuala Terengganu.
The promotion was done on the basis of the community colleges' qualification to be APACC accredited and because APACC has started the accreditation of Malaysian polytechnics, it is high time for the Department of Community College Education to start the ball rolling as well.
Prior to Dr. Naim’s presentation, the DCCE DG presented an overview of his department which included the development of community colleges, its structure and relevance, program offerings, and lifelong learning, upskilling, reskilling, and industrial linkages. There are currently 91 community colleges in Malaysia; the 12 pioneer community colleges started their operations in year 2001. Community Colleges leverage on its two main programs - Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Lifelong Learning as means to develop local communities into knowledgeable and trained workforce to fulfill the demands of the world of work. Their main aspiration is to produce quality graduates that meet industry demands. As of year 2014, graduates’ employability rate rose to 94.2%, which is a stellar performance indicator.
Having an international recognition such as APACC accreditation could increase the community colleges’ visibility not just in Malaysia but in other Asia Pacific countries as well. The system of APACC accreditation of TVET institutions in the region was discussed, which will help towards achieving the goals of ASEAN Community 2015. Dr. Naim stressed the benefits of APACC accreditation to accredited institutions including greater workforce mobility and mutual recognition of qualifications and the opportunity to be a part of a regional network of quality institutions that provides learning prospects to students.
As soon as the orientation about APACC was concluded, the DCCE Director General requested the Community College Directors for feedback and most of them responded that having an APACC accreditation will uplift the image of community colleges, thus it would be advisable to subscribe to APACC with proper strategy on the part of DCCE.