Pact to prepare students for 21st century learning

Raman (third from left) and Alias exchange documents at the ceremony as Mahdzir (centre) applauds together with (from left) Nik Ariff, Kamalanathan, Chong and Khair.

THE Education Ministry and Microsoft Malaysia recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to encourage the use of ICT in teaching and learning.

This is in line with Shift 7 of the Education Blueprint 2013-2025 which aims to leverage on ICT to upgrade learning across the nation.

This partnership will see schools being equipped with resources, training, expertise and technologies.

Its goal is to empower students to incorporate ICT in their schoolwork and learning, and to prepare them for the 21st century. It would also provide teachers with tools, forums and resources to build communities where they can collaborate, as well as share ideas and best practices.

At the ceremony, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said: “The ministry aspires to create an education system that prepares Malaysia’s children for the rapidly globalising world. We are actively pursuing innovations to integrate ICT into teaching and learning in a meaningful way that would address the needs of students and educators.”

He added that the partnership will play a pivotal role in realising the potential of ICT to upgrade learning across Malaysia.

The ministry will identify a range of schools – from high performance to rural schools – which will be a part of the Microsoft Showcase Schools Programme. These are defined as schools that are engaged in digital transformation to improve learning outcomes.

Once these schools have been engaged, Microsoft with the guidance of the ministry’s Educational Technology Division, will develop ICT-related resources such as content and tools to enhance digital literacy, and provide trainers to sharpen the digital skills of teachers.

The training would be based on Microsoft’s 21st Century Learning Design, which looks at aspects such as collaboration, self-regulation, knowledge construction, skilled communication and creativity, as well as problem-solving.

To encourage teachers, 100 educators will be selected and recognised as Microsoft Innovative Educators each year. This award will recognise educator visionaries who are using technology to pave the way for better learning and student outcomes.

Microsoft Malaysia managing director K. Raman said, “We applaud the efforts of the Education Ministry and are thrilled to build an effective platform for communication and collaboration amongst Malaysian school stakeholders together.”

He added that its mission is to empower every person and organisation to achieve, and remain committed to promoting 21st century learning in Malaysia. Also present were Deputy Education Ministers Datuk P. Kamalanathan, Datuk Chong Sin Woon, ministry secretary general Datuk Seri Alias Haji Ahmad, Education director-general Tan Sri Khair Mohamad Yusof and Microsoft Malaysia Public Sector Group general manager Nik Ariff Nik Omar.

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