JOHOR BAHRU, Sept 3 — The government will loosen the eligibility requirements for persons with disabilities (PwD) to be enrolled in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes to make it easier for them to join the field.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he will inform Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who chairs the TVET Council, to implement the matter.
“I will tell him that although there is some flexibility for PwDs currently, do not make the requirements too strict, such as (having) both hands. It should be based on capabilities, so we will give some flexibility.
“Insya Allah, this can (be implemented),” he said when replying to a participant in the ‘Temu Anwar’ dialogue programme at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai, here today.
The participant, a person with disabilities and an alumnus of UTM, had asked the prime minister about measures taken by the government to allocate one per cent of job opportunities in the public service to the PwD group and also stressed the need for a review of the eligibility requirements for PwD to be enrolled in TVET programmes.
Anwar said he will raise the matter in the Cabinet meeting to ensure that all government agencies and ministries comply with it.
In addition, he said the government will also study the possibility of establishing a secondary-level special education school in Johor to enable PwD students to further their studies after completing primary school, especially those with hearing impairment, similar to the one in Penang.
“I will raise this matter. I didn’t know (of Johor not having such a school), hence the reason for this Temu Anwar programme, which is to listen to the people, despite some quarters criticising the programme.
“What is wrong with hearing out (problems like these), it’s not that we have to agree to everything. If I can’t provide an answer, I raise it in the Cabinet. Insya-Allah (proposal to establish a secondary special education school) will be part of the immediate plans,” he said.
To another participant’s question on the status of the proposed ‘Kad Siswa Rahmah’, a discount card for university students and first mooted by former Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister, the late Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, Anwar said the proposal will also be brought to the Cabinet.
Some 4,000 students, educators and members of the public attended the ‘Temu Anwar’ dialogue session. Also present were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail.