KUALA LUMPUR: To bring information communications technology (ICT) to all schools, the problem of electricity supply has to be resolved first in many schools.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar said 767 primary schools and 28 secondary schools in the country still did not have 24-hour electricity supply.
This has made it difficult for schools to make full use of the computer facilities provided, he said, adding that bridging the digital divide was one of the thrusts of the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010.
Noh said the ministry would supply new electricity generators which were more powerful to schools and also develop and pilot a solar hybrid project to generate electricity in 10 schools in Sabah and Sarawak.
He was speaking reporters after visiting the ministrys Educational Technology division here yesterday.
Resolving the electricity supply problem is among several measures the ministry is taking to level the playing field and to reduce the gap between urban and rural schools.
Another move is to expand access centres in schools. Each centre will have 10 computers and be open during school hours.
Noh said RM120mil had been allocated under the 9th Malaysia Plan for this, and that 1,584 access centres had already been built.
He said the ministry would also expand the taping of lessons by the 7,000 holding the post of excellent teachers.
Their lessons would be stored in VCDs and distributed to schools.
This will expand the influence of these excellent teachers, as their lessons will not only be enjoyed by just their own students, Noh said, adding that students could also view the lessons at home.
On the status of Educational TV, or TV Pendidikan, Noh said the contract with Astro, which ended on Dec 31 last year, had not been renewed.
As a temporary measure, TV9 has agreed to broadcast the programmes for free for three months from Monday to Thursday from 8am to noon.
Noh said the ministry was holding talks with several television stations to negotiate a new contract.
We plan to telecast TV Pendidikan over the Internet too via Web TV, so that it can be accessed at any time and be downloaded easily, he said.