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Virtual learning by 2016


What’s this? Muhyiddin (centre) takes an item that’s being offered to him at one of the exhibition booths during the ministry’s Innovation Day celebrations.

What’s this? Muhyiddin (centre) takes an item that’s being offered to him at one of the exhibition booths during the ministry’s Innovation Day celebrations.

THE Education Ministry will be digitalising textbooks to enable teaching and learning through a virtual learning environment (VLE) platform.

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that these digital textbooks will help lighten both the students’ school bags and parents’ burdens.

“Innovation is an important element in spearheading education transformation, and this is one of the ministry’s efforts in resolving the heavy school bag problem which parents complain about.

“More importantly, parents will not be burdened by the additional costs incurred from the implementation of these digital textbooks as the tools such as Google Chrome Book and high speed Internet will be provided to schools,” he said after launching the ministry’s Innovation Day celebration recently.

Muhyiddin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, added that the textbooks will be released in two phases.

“For the first phase, 313 titles will be made accessible to students, parents and teachers through the 1BestariNet website.

“As for the second phase, expected to be launched from between 2016 and 2025, digital textbooks will be made interactive,” he said.

He praised the ministry’s success in education innovation initiatives, including receiving a VMWare Innovation Award for its “Transforming IT by Defying Convention” project durign the VMWorld 2014 Conference held recently.

He said 25,000 virtual desktops were deployed at 1,250 schools across the country with VMware Horizon and Teradici PCoIP Zero Client devices as part of a national effort to modernise education and bridge the urban-rural digital divide.

Muhyiddin also applauded the Malaysian Polytechnic Robotics team for bagging three gold medals at the 19th FIRA Roboworld Cup and Congress in China.

At the event, Muhyiddin highlighted Japan, Hong Kong and Korea as examples of highly-developed countries with innovation and technological advancements at the forefront of their countries’ transformations.

To be on par with these countries, the ministry needed to think of how the education landscape will change in the future, he said.

“The conventional concept of building more schools might not be relevant in the future with virtual libraries and virtual learning platforms. “We need to think of how to keep schools, classrooms and lecture halls relevant with the needs of 21st century students.

“Research and development in infrastructure development of schools and universities need to be intensified to make better education more accessible and cost-effective,” Muhyiddin added.

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