Under the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 launched last week, Malaysia will equip 10,000 national schools nationwide with 4G Internet access and a virtual learning platform.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak unveiled the plan to embed ICT in teaching and learning for teachers, students, and parents through the expansion of 1BestariNet (Wi-Fi) programme to all schools.
Also, the government will increase the number of ICT devices until the ratio of student-to-device reaches 10:1. He added that the ratio can continue to be lowered further subjected to the availability of funds and impact assessment.
Between 1999 and 2010, Malaysian government has invested up to RM6 billion (US$ 1.97 billion) on the initiative ICT for education projects. Most of the funds went for additional computer labs especially to support the PPSMI scheme—the government’s education policy aimed at improving the proficiency in English among pupils at primary and secondary schools.
In the blueprint, the effective use of ICT is required to foster students to learn how to leverage ICT efficiently to scale up quality learning across the country. It will also further strengthen the foundation of ICT-enabled schools as well as introducing proven ICT solutions into the education system.
The government will also pilot a distance-learning and self-paced learning before scaling up nationwide.
Under shift 9 in the same blueprint, a system called School Examination Analysis System (SAPS)—an online system to monitor students’ progress, will be set up at some 500 trust schools as part of encouraging the partnership among parents, community and private sector to monitor learning performance of the students.
The government will also invest in ICT solutions for groups with specific needs such as rural schools, under-enrolled schools, and gifted students to enable cost-efficient access to high-quality teaching and learning resources.
To evaluate significant potential investments in ICT schemes, the government will rely on evidence-based assessment by improving its Smart School Qualification Standards (SSQS)—the existing set of measurement tools.
A ICT-driven solutions will be innovated after the government ensuring a strong foundation in ICT, and receiving clear evidence of the positive impact of its delivery.
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