Knowledge is power: Co-op college trains members with IT

A Malaysian co-op college has revealed its techniques for empowering and equipping the co-operative community through education and IT. Mdm Julia Bee Ramjan from the Co-operative College of...

A Malaysian co-op college has revealed its techniques for empowering and equipping the co-operative community through education and IT.

Mdm Julia Bee Ramjan from the Co-operative College of Malaysia spoke about her position as deputy director general which covers ICT strategy planning.

Her job involves looking after the IT budget, enhancing the business and improving the delivery of services using IT – as well as being in charge of human resources.

The College has about 6 million co-operative members throughout Malaysia and trains about 30,000 members every year. The campus can’t accommodate everyone and therefore the College has come up with IT initiatives to enable students to learn from home.

“We cannot train everybody because our resources and training campus space is quite limited, so that’s how we use IT to reach out to our students,” Mdm Ramjan told OpenGov.

“Our students are basically working adults and we are in for a life-long learning process, there is no age limit. The learning programmes range and vary from two days to two weeks, and we have a diploma programme as well.

“IT is very fast-paced, especially with IoT [internet of things – the internetworking of physical items]. The Internet is part of our everyday lives and has changed the way we live.”

In 2009, the College was placed under the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK), with one of its sectors being co-operatives.

A National Co-operative Policy from 2011-2020 contains a blueprint that says the co-operative sector should contribute 50bn Malaysian Ringgit (£9.3bn) to the GDP by 2020, said Mdm Ramjan. “One of the ways to achieve this target is through training and human capital development,” she added.

“With technology, there will be something new every few months and it is a constant chase to be ahead of the curve. We need to provide the skills required to use tools such as social media as well.”

She mentioned the challenges of the Internet having to be up and available at all times, the bandwidth getting bigger and taking care of security with all the staff using their own gadgets and devices.

It is also demanding to constantly equip staff with the latest technologies and impart them with the needed skills, according to the deputy director.

The College is the only co-operative institute in Malaysia, with about 10,000 members. It provides training to the members of the board, staff and co-operative workforce at all levels to create ethical, efficient and effective co-operative governance and management.

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