1996, Malaysia identified Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as one of the key foundation for its projected transition from a production based economy to a knowledge based economy by 2020. The Smart School initiative is one of the flagship applications that are part of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) projected.
As a Senior Officer from Ministry of Education, prepare a presentation to a group of science teacher from Indonesia who is interested to know about the Smart School initiatives, focusing on the teaching learning component and the use of technology as enable contained in the Smart School Concept. You also need to provide an overview of the progress made so far and challengers faced since the inception of Smart School in Malaysia
In 1996, Malaysia identified information and communication technology (ICT) as one of the key foundations for its projected transition from a production-based economy to a knowledge-based economy by 2020. In declaring these goals, the government also acknowledged that such a transition will require a workforce capable of exploiting ICT to create new economic opportunities. In order to develop this talent pool, the government announced under the Eighth Malaysia Plan the need to re-engineer the country’s education system and align it with its Vision 2020. The Smart School Flagship was one of the seven applications identified under the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative, which envisages the creation of high-value jobs in the country, achieving high and consistent growth driven by exports, improving national productivity and competitiveness and achieving value creation. All these will eventually translate into economic growth, wealth creation and competitiveness for the country.
The history of the Smart School Project is rooted in the two-pronged objectives of the flagship, which are to jumpstart the MSC towards building a knowledge-based economy, contributing to the growth of the ICT industry and creating a pool of talent resulting in high-value job creation. Other than that, Smart School Project to prepare the citizens for the information age through an innovative education delivery process. Smart School is not just about ICT intervention in teaching and learning. The national curriculum and pedagogy are given the highest importance, with the role of teachers, administrators, parents and the community enhanced in the education of the Malaysian students. Individuality, creativity and initiative amongst the students are prioritized. However, ICT is critical in making the teaching and learning processes easier, more fun and effective, as well as making communication and management among the stakeholders more efficient. The Malaysian Smart School is a place where all students can learn within a condusive learning environment. It offers various curricula with on-going evaluation, handled by professional administrators and teachers.
As of October 2009, MOE has awarded ‘Smart School’ rating to 7575 schools. This means they have achieved at least three stars. Dr Norrizan Razali, Senior Manager, Smart School Department, MDeC explains the Star Rankings: “A three-star school has adopted technology. Its teachers ‘plug and play’ content or electronic courseware provided by MOE. It merely adopts IC T with little or no enhancement or customisation of the material to suit its needs. This is good. But we want schools to re-create, collaborate and share materials within themselves and with other schools or the greater community. This is what they need to do to achieve four or five star.” Of the 7575 Smart Schools, 67 per cent are at three-star ranking, 32 per cent at four-star and 1 per cent at five-star.
For challenger the government must continuous monitoring and coaching of innovative use of technology in schools. Other than that, the important thing is always upgrading of infrastructure such as the broadband and hardware for the school always will provided with the latest teaching courseware and Instilling the ownership of the Smart School initiatives among stakeholders. Furthermore, changing the mindset of teachers and stakeholders and alignment of objectives at all levels required, within the Ministry and between Ministries/agencies