LETTER | Direct education key to workers empowerment

Ronald Benjamin


LETTER | The Association for Community and Dialogue welcomes a new e-learning hub, e-Latih, that was launched by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) as part of efforts to assist Malaysians during this difficult period. It offers free access to hundreds of skills development and educational-based courses.

A collaboration between HRDF and Go1, one of the largest international e-learning aggregators, HRDF said e-Latih would be available to all Malaysians until Feb 5, 2022.

The creation of an e-learning hub is long overdue on the part of HRDF, but it is a way forward to the democratisation of education for workers. It reveals a context of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 and economic crisis that requires an effective, efficient and timely way of reaching out to the distressed working community without the necessity of employers’ hierarchy.

Furthermore, due to various global trends such as digitalisation and new economic models emerging, including the green economy within the context of sustainable development, it has become imperative that education should directly reach the population so that they could have easier access to various skills training which is beyond the conventional knowledge and skills.

The government has a significant role to play in ensuring education is free or available at a minimal cost.

It is vital for members of the state assembly, Parliament, community leaders, and business leaders to play a critical role or mission to introduce their people to this e-learning hub for the development of the country.

Keeping in mind on how HRDF operates based on levy paid by the private sector, and where employees need employer’s permission to embark on courses, there is a need to reassess how education and training are provided to the working community. 

Education has to be seen from a dimension of social and national security. It cannot be merely dependent on employers or the private sector.

Since the courses are available to all Malaysians, it is time the government plays a critical role in HRDF in ensuring it has the finances to bring education directly to the people in the long term. It should not end on Feb 5, 2022, but should be continued. This would require the government to restructure and invest in HRDF and bring education directly to the workforce.

The Covid -19 pandemic has shown that the Malaysian workforce can no longer depend on employer’s goodwill to stay employed or to be sent for training in difficult times.

Education should be a component of social and national security that should serve the common good and not narrowed down to employers alone. Direct education is key to workers empowerment in current and future context of the country.

The writer is secretary of the Association for Community and Dialogue.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.