KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called for a review of the school curriculum if it does not serve the purpose of promoting Information Communication Technology (ICT) usage in schools.
He said the curriculum should reflect the desire to produce thinkers and incorporate the use of ICT as a means to harness the wealth of information available on the information highway.
We can equip our schools and train teachers with ICT. But at the end of the day, if the curriculum is still examination focused, and geared towards memorisation and reproduction of facts and figures, our objectives will not be met, he said at the launch of the International Smart School Conference 2007 yesterday.
Najib said that aside from being a subject, ICT was also a tool to encourage exploration of new ideas, promote continuous learning, encourage self-expression and establish network and linkages.
Gone are the days for rote learning or spoon feeding in classrooms, of regurgitating textbook chapters to fill up pages of examination answer books.
The emphasis in today's learning culture must be on thinking, the use of the mind to find solutions to emerging problems. Students must be taught the means through which they can maximise their creativity and capacity for innovation, he added.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Onn, who was also at the function, said his ministry was making the curriculum less examination focussed starting with the 30 cluster schools.
The evaluation of students will not be based the 'right or wrong answer' in the examination but how they derived at an answer.
Once successful, he said, this would be introduced to the rest of the schools in the country by 2010.
Also at the event were Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, Educational Technology Division director Datuk Yusoff Harun, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar and Multimedia Development Corp CEO Badlisham Ghazali.
Najib also said that ICT must be part of the students living and working culture and he asked schools to find ways to make the Internet easily accessible to students even after school session.
On the operations of smart schools, Najib said traditional procedures that had been entrenched in the schools system for decades must undergo a massive overhaul for smart schools to have smart management.
He said the school management should move towards a paperless environment and use ICT to increase efficiency, reduce operational expenditure, and improve internal and external communication.
Najib said that teachers in smart schools must adopt ICT as a lifestyle, speak English and exhibit their capacity for analytical thinking if they expected these qualities from their students.