Background and Purpose: Efforts in bringing about changes to fishers' lives are often met with obstacles due to their lack of participation in empowerment programmes as well as their excessive reliance on external assistance. However, such situations are said to be the results of their level of education and work experience. This paper also examines the relationship between work experience with empowerment and formal education as a control variable to the relationship. Therefore, this paper aims to observe the reality of empowerment among fishing communities from the lens of participation and self-reliance among fishers in Terengganu, Malaysia. Concurrently, this study also reviews the theme mentioned above from the lens of formal education and work experience and their impacts on the fishing community empowerment.


Methodology: This study used a survey design and involved 220 coastal fishers, who were identified through multi-stage sampling. Data were gathered using a questionnaire, and data analysis was done through descriptive statistics and the Analysis of Variance Test (ANCOVA).


Findings: The empowerment of the fishing community in this study is not influenced by the number of years they have spent as fishers. On the other hand, their level of education plays a pertinent influence on their empowerment. Such a finding clearly shows that experience is not only a major factor in increasing the empowerment of the fishing community.


Contributions: This study contributes to our understanding that it is undeniably true that formal and informal education play an integral role in empowering the fishing community, where through education, fishers are more participative in their community and exhibit autonomy towards their work.


Keywords: Fishers, empowerment, formal education, experience, community development


Cite as: Tuan Sembok, T. M. Z., & Wan Ismail, W. A. A. Z. (2022). Formal education, work experience and empowerment of the fishing community in Terengganu, Malaysia. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(1), 366-389.

Author Biographies

Tuan Muhammad Zukri Tuan Sembok, Institute for Poverty Research and Management (InsPeK), University Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)

Tuan Muhammad Zukri T.S holds a Post Doctoral position at the Institute for Poverty Research and Management (InsPeK), University Malaysia Kelantan. He obtained his PhD in Social Studies (Community Development) at the University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Master and Bachelor in Social Work at the Universiy Sains Malaysia (USM). He participated in several research and specialized in youth, empowerment community and poverty.

Wan Ahmad Amir Zal Wan Ismail, Institute for Poverty Research and Management (InsPeK), University Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)

W. A. Amir Zal, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the community development discipline and a university lecturer at the Faculty of Language Studies and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Malaysia. Currently, he is the director of the Institute for Poverty Research and Management (InsPeK) Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Secretary-General of the Regional Network on Poverty Eradication (RENPER). His research and publication primarily emphasise exclusion and inclusion, poverty, empowerment, and development plans for vulnerable communities. He is also actively involved in developing various policies to empower a community across different issues.


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How to Cite
Tuan Sembok, T. M. Z., & Wan Ismail, W. A. A. Z. (2022). FORMAL EDUCATION, WORK EXPERIENCE AND EMPOWERMENT OF THE FISHING COMMUNITY IN TERENGGANU, MALAYSIA. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 7(1), 366-389.