PETALING JAYA: After a year of unprecedented challenges, the Education Ministry is taking the country’s education system to new heights in line with the fourth industrial revolution.
The first step, said minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, was to enhance the national digital education and Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela) initiative involving schools.
At present, the ministry has several digital education platforms, such as the Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia (Delima).
“We will enhance our existing platforms and add more. These digital sources will ensure that our students have access to the latest, interactive learning materials.
“Jendela is under the purview of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry but we will work together to ensure that its implementation in schools is conducted smoothly, ” he said in an interview with the media on the ministry’s achievements for the past year.
Internet connectivity in schools was another primary focus for the ministry, he said, adding that how some schools had extremely limited connectivity due to their location.
Additionally, not every teacher and student has his or her own devices which makes implementing digital education a challenge.
“Access to devices and the Internet are major constraints. We are determined to have more hotspots within the schools, ” he said, adding that teachers must be trained to acquire digital education teaching skills.
Teachers, he said, had already taken their own initiative to get well acquainted with digital tools.
All parties, added Radzi, must work together to ensure that students were not left behind when competing with their peers globally.
Many countries have implemented their digital education plans and Malaysia cannot fall behind.
“We must maximise our technological resources to ensure that teaching and learning are conducted well, ” said the former academic.
Pointing out that technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is gaining good traction among students, he said more were applying to study in the ministry’s vocational colleges.
TVET, he said, would be enhanced as part of digital education.
“We want TVET students to receive a skills-based education that is in line with industry developments instead of learning about old technologies.
“Our emphasis is to improve the collaboration between vocational colleges and the industry.
“And in focusing on access to quality education, we are reviewing TVET programmes to improve its quality and increase parents’ confidence to enrol their children in skills-based education, ” said Radzi.
The ministry is also looking to improve its data management system and applications.
Radzi said when he first took office on March 9 last year, he had read on social media about parents having to queue for long time at district education offices to register their child at secondary schools or apply for a change of school.
The reason for this, he said, was because the ministry’s data of some five million students and the many different types of schools were not well organised.
“The data and applications we have will be organised into an integrated system so that we can efficiently, effectively and productively serve our stakeholders, ” he said.