Mobile devices could be allowed in class


Mahdzir at the book launch. Looking on are ITBM chairman Budiman Mohd Zohdi (left) and managing director and CEO Mohd Khair Ngadiron (centre).

THE sounds and sight of our children busy tapping away on keyboards while their lessons are presented by teachers on smart boards may soon be a reality in local schools.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the policy change to allow mobile devices in classrooms will be studied for possible implementation.

“Under the current policy, students are not allowed to bring devices to schools. But with technology advancing so quickly, it’s unlikely we can stop students from doing so,” he said during his speech, while launching a series of sports books published by the Institute of Translation and Books Malaysia (ITBM).

Based on what he observed in classrooms in other countries, Mahdzir said, students not only came equipped with their devices, but with their own connectivity or Internet access.

He said the world is advancing, so Malaysia cannot be left behind.

Even the blackboards in classrooms, he said, are being replaced by smart boards, which allow teachers to google information that students can view in 3D.

What type of devices and how they are allowed to be used, he said, must be studied.

He pointed out schools in other countries allowed devices to be used both as a teaching and learning aid during particular periods or subjects, like science.

“We have to study what options we want,” he said, but added even countries like Korea and Japan had limits on when a device could or couldn’t be used by students.

Mahdzir said they would not allow the device to be used in classrooms the entire day.

He pointed out that Internet connectivity at the 10,000-plus government schools in Malaysia, varied and depended on whether they are located in urban, or in the interior of the states.

“I have instructed the company implementing 1BestariNet to ensure all schools get Internet connectivity of at least 6 megabytes per second.

“This is compared to some schools in certain urban areas, which had connectivity of between 15 and 20 megabytes per second,” he said.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon, said in Ipoh, that the ministry welcomes all quarters to submit their suggestions on the mobile devices.

Mahdzir also witnessed the signing of an agreement between the ITBM and the Han Culture Centre Malaysia on books from China, which could be translated into Malay and English.


   

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