DIGITAL textbooks are better but the Education Ministry will continue to provide hard copies for now.
Telling parents not to worry, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said textbooks would still be distributed as the digital versions were merely an option for those who want it.
“We’ve conducted successful test runs with the e-textbooks in pilot schools so now we want to give parents and students who are ready, the opportunity to access it.
“E-textbooks are more advantageous than the hardcopy especially for students taking their PT3 and SPM exams. It’s easy for revision.
“This is because students can still refer to the e-textbooks after they’ve moved up a form, whereas the hardcopy would have to be returned after a year,” she told a press conference at SK Taman Putra Perdana, Puchong, on Jan 2.
On whether the e-textbooks were popular, she said the ministry would need time to compile the data as it needs feedback from the schools.
Lower secondary students must bring their own devices to access digital textbooks in schools as the ministry has no plans to supply devices for them to use digital textbooks. On Dec 7, Teo told Parlia-ment the government would introduce digital textbooks for those in Forms One to Three this year.
The ministry plans to introduce interactive digital textbooks for those in Form Three in 2020.
And in 2021, those in Forms One, Three and Four, would get interactive digital textbooks.
In 2022, the digital interactive textbooks would be available for those in Forms One to Five.
As of last month, the ministry has turned 495 printed textbooks into digital Portable Document Format (PDF) and have uploaded them in the 1BestariNet website for students and teachers.
On a separate matter, Teo said the special committee tasked with studying the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) recognition has yet to complete its report.
She was asked to comment on the government’s promise to recognise the UEC for independent Chinese secondary schools.