Muzaffar Syah Mallow
Associate Professor Dr., Faculty of Syariah & Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Bandar Baru Nilai, Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus, Malaysia
Covid-19 pandemic which started in early 2022 has changed our life forever. Many countries including Malaysia are trying their best to adapt with the new norms. Recently, Malaysia has taken a big step to amends its labour law in order to meets with the new norms due to the spread of Covid-19. Among the labour the law which being amended is the Employment Act 1955 [Act 265]. On record, the Malaysian Employment Act 1955 [Act 265] is the main legislation governing the employer-employee relationship in Malaysia. Updates to the Employment Act 1955 [Act 265] have been long overdue as there have been many concerns and gaps in relation to the protection afforded to employees. On 30 March 2021, the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed by the country Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) where several key amendments were tabled. The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed with the objective to increase and improve the protection and welfare of workers in the country in line with international labour standards as outlined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Among the new insertion in the Employment Act 1955 [Act 265] is the implementation of flexible working arrangement (FWA). FWA are no longer a novelty, but a necessity for employers in this post-pandemic era. With more and more potential employees seeking better work-life balance in their careers, companies need to consider implementing FWA to attract the right talent. The Employment Act 1955 (Amendment) 2022 as it is known now is expected to come into force on 1 January 2023. The idea of flexibility has attracted not only those belonging to the common working sectors but also those belonging to the educational sector as well. Educators and students both in schools and universities started to demand the implementing of flexibility for the educational sector as well. The online teaching process which been practices during the lockdown for nearly two years has open the eyes of many. The process of education should be transformed in line with the rapid development of science and technology. Educational process can no longer be confine to certain places or location like schools building and universities campus compound like before. Some peoples might think that the words flexibility and education can never occur in the same sentence. People usually associate education with a school or university structure, daunting timetables, and the never-ending school or university week. The educational process is hardly ever described as “flexible” due to the huge amount of time and effort needed for its fulfillment. For this reason, flexible education emerged as a means to resolve the inconvenient aspects of traditional education. As the name indicates, flexible education is all about convenience and effectiveness. It is a system in which learning is basically student-centered with regard to the when, where, and how of learning. Students enjoy the luxury of choosing the timing of their lessons, whether they want to continue education at school or university or at home, and in what style they want their education to be like. This system is also designed to provide students with unlimited access to the materials, training, and support needed for an overall successful teaching and learning experience. Thus, it is the object of this paper to examine further about the issue of flexibility and education and the benefits flexible education can bring. At the end of this research, recommendations will be made to the Malaysian government over the need to transform the national education policy.
Keywords: Flexibility, education, transformation
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