KUALA LUMPUR: Students will have something to look forward to when the new school year begins – new teaching tools in the form of a notebook computer, LCD projector and screen as well as interactive software.
With all these already in place in schools, it is all systems go for the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English at Year One and Form One when school starts tomorrow in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu and on Monday in the rest of the country.
The equipment and teaching software are an essential component for the successful implementation of the Government’s decision to teach the two subjects in English for the first time in schools after Bahasa Malaysia was made the medium of instruction in the mid-1970s.
“We are ready,” Education director-general Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat said yesterday when asked about preparations for the teaching Maths and Science to Year One and Form One students.
He said 99% of the 9,198 schools in the country had received the equipment.
“Only some schools in Sabah and Sarawak have not received it. However, the state education directors have given an assurance that all will receive them by the start of school on Monday,” he said at the ministry.
All schools have been given teaching and learning courseware in the form of CD-ROMs to aid teachers and students in implementing the groundbreaking policy.
Rafie announced that the ministry had established a hotline (03-6200 2300) for enquiries and to help all parties. A website (http:myschoolnet @ppk.kpm.my) will also be operational on Monday to assist teachers and students.
At a media briefing held earlier in the morning, officials from the Education Ministry’s curriculum development centre (CDC) showed how a typical lesson would be conducted using the teaching courseware developed by the ministry with the collaboration of private organisations.
CDC director Dr Sharifah Maimunah Syed Zin said each courseware came with a Teachers’ Guide.
“The interactive software will stimulate students’ thinking and are activity based. They incorporate the latest ICT trends in educational courseware.”
She also said teachers would be able to teach in English as they had undergone three stages of training – proficiency in English, familiarisation with the syllabus and training in ICT.
Dr Sharifah added that although the courseware had not been tested on students before its introduction, she was confident that it would be well received as “teachers and experts have sat on the panel to evaluate them.”
The courseware will be released in stages with phase one already been sent while phase two was being developed.
In addition, students will get courseware which is a translation from the Bahasa Malaysia courseware used by students in smart schools. A total of 53 out of 153 titles will be sent to schools.
In terms of teacher training, 27,543 teachers have undergone courses to prepare for the new move including 2,585 from Chinese and 927 from Tamil schools.
To help teachers, instructional language will be provided through teaching scripts in English that will benefit less proficient teachers.
Dr Sharifah said sschools with no or limited electricity supply would be provided with generators and UPS (uninterruptible power supply) units.
Instead of LCD projectors, schools in Sabah and Sarawak will receive 34-inch digital television sets instead as these would take up less electricity.