Politeknik Kota Bharu (PKB), one of the leading polytechnic institutions in Malaysia and a Gold-Level APACC Accredited Institution is the host of this year’s CPSC-PKB Regional Program on “TVET as a Catalyst to Facilitate Technopreneurship” and the 7th International Conference in Education-Technical Vocational Education and Training (CiE-TVET)”. The two programs were held in a span of five days, with the former from October 7-8, 2017 and the latter from October 9 -11, 2017.
A total of 14 representatives from CPSC member countries such as Bhutan, Fiji, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand attended the regional program. They joined the additional 89 participants that came from all over the host country, Malaysia in the International Conference.
In light of the recent demands calling for the improvement of entrepreneurship initiatives in TVET and the need to further align it to the changing requirements of the industry, the regional program was organized to develop understanding and thoroughness of technology entrepreneurship. It opens the possibilities for engineers and individuals with technical backgrounds to venture in reinventing industries and markets and/or start their own businesses.
This program also acknowledges the importance of intellectual capital that is the intangible value of a business, covering its people (human capital) in growing knowledge economies and create conditions that foster innovation which ultimately has more to do with education more than anything else.
Furthermore, it aims to improve the awareness of the participants on the relevance of technology entrepreneurship education today especially in TVET. It also aims to inform the need to redirect a significant critical mass of TVET graduates from wage employment to technopreneurial careers.
The CPSC Director General, Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane and the Director of the Politeknik Kota Bharu, Mr. Noor Azahan bin Othman, facilitated the overall supervision of the program and the international conference. Program coordination and academic resources was facilitated by Dr. Romulita Alto, Faculty Consultant of the Colombo Plan Staff College. Local coordination and arrangements was made possible through Mr. Hazmee bin Abdul Halim and Mr. Rodey Hamza bin Hamza, both lecturers at PKB.
Local insights on entrepreneurship were delivered by Assc. Prof. Mohd. Rafi bin Yaacob, Dean of the Faculty of Entrepreneurship at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Dr. Nik Nor Hasimah binti Nik Ismail, the Head of the Study Center of the Faculty of Business and Management at the Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Kelantan.
The regional program covered themes such as the: (1) anatomy of a Technopreneur & what does it take to become one; (2) The role of TVET in lifelong career growth & development in Technopreneurship and (3): the importance of TVET hosting as an incubation center. In addition, a special lecture entitled ”Technopreneurship as a vehicle to facilitate prosperity” was also delivered by the resource persons to supplement the themes mentioned above.
The participants also visited the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTm) in Cawangan, Kelantan on October 8, 2017 to personally see a TVET institution hosting an incubation center for entrepreneurship. They were welcomed with their Director, Dr. Tuan Md. Rosli Tuan Hassan and were given a tour of the facilities.
International Conference focused on creating the “Sustainable Entrepreneurial Workforce”
The three-day international conference tackled some of the inventions, ideas and technical papers developed by the speakers. It became a platform that served as a meeting place of the academe, business and industry in tackling common interests in the field of technology and entrepreneurship.
In addition to the officials of PKB, the event was graced by esteemed persons from the Department of Polytechnic Education (DPE) Malaysia namely: Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Ismail bin Abd Aziz, DPE Director General; Dr. Mohammad Naim bin Yaakub, the Deputy Director General of Operations in DPE and the former CPSC Director General; Dr. Abdul Rahim bin Ahmad, the Director of Polytechnic Research and Innovation Center of DPE and Dr. Tengku Ahmad Badrul Shah bin Raja Hussin, Program Director of the 7th CiE-TVET. The program coordinator, Dr. Romulita Alto, delivered the keynote speech stating the importance of technopreneurship in ensuring TVET’s sustainability and relevance in facing the challenges of the present and future members of the workforce.
During the three day event, the papers that were presented revolved around the theme “Translating TVET for Sustainable Entepreneurial Workforce” and were classified according to the following subthemes: (1) Agriculture; (2) ICT and Creative Computing; (3) TVET Management; (4) Material Composites; (5) Entrepreneurship; (6) Electrical and Electronic Engineering; (7) Green Technology; (8) Mechanical Engineering; (9) Transnational Research; (10) Civil Engineering; (11) Action Research and (12) Other related fields of Engineering. Overall, the program was held successfully and received positive feedback from the participants and audience alike.