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Tourism academy to boost rapid growth of Sabah's tourism industry


19th August, 2016


TAWAU: The rapid growth of the tourism industry in Sabah will be boosted with the Kota Kinabalu Tourism Academy (KKTA) next year.

Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the academy is now in the final stages of discussions and will offer diploma and certificate programmes in the field of tourism.

It will accommodate up to 400 students and cost between RM30 million to RM40 million.

“This is the promise of the federal government. We want to continue looking after the people of Sabah through education. Students who enroll in the academy do not have to worry about jobs because the tourism sector in Sabah is very wide,” he said.

He was speaking at a media conference after launching the Tawau Community College Culinary Arts Building yesterday.

He said the tourism academy aimed to enable more Sabahans to venture into the tourism industry in the state and hence, generate the local economy.

Meanwhile, Idris said the Culinary Arts programme at the college not only gave students skills but also improved their opportunities in seeking jobs.

“Do not underestimate community colleges because 97 per cent of the graduates are able to find work compared to other institutions of higher learning and I believe these graduates are able to contribute to the country’s progress,” he said.

At present there are 94 community colleges nationwide, including nine in Sabah. Ten more community colleges will be built throughout the country next year.

“Community colleges play a key role in producing skilled human capital,” he said.

Also present at the event yesterday were the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, Assistant Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology, Datuk Hamisa Samat, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Pang Yuk Ming and the director-general of the Department of Community College Education, Dato Amir Md Noor.

Culinary Arts is the fourth program offered at the Tawau Community College. It is also available at the Beaufort Community College.

Renovation for the building began on October 29 last year and now has three kitchens, two lecture rooms as well as rooms for guests and meetings.

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