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Zainal Abidin Bin Ismail, Coordinator of the Teachers’ Activity Center, Port Dickson, Malaysia, presented this report.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad articulated that the Information era will force Malaysians to change their lifestyle and way of working, and that the sooner Malaysians adapt themselves to it, the sooner their horizon of knowledge will expand and a better future be secured for the country. This statement embodies Malaysia’s vision for ICT.

Malaysia’s national programme for ICT for education develops the whole individual. Education in Malaysia is an on-going effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. The effort is geared to produce citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards, and who are responsible and capable of achieving high levels of personal well-being as well able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, society and nation.

A crucial component of Malaysia’s integration of ICT in education is the Malaysian Smart School programme, which intends to “systematically reinvent” learning institutions in terms of teaching practices and school management in order to prepare children for the Information Age. The Smart School System has been pilot tested in 90 schools throughout the country.

The general objectives of the Malaysian Smart School are to:

  • Achieve the goals of the national education philosophy; and
  • Develop a workforce for the information age.

Its specific objectives are to:

  • Develop students physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually;
  • Provide opportunities tom improve individual strengths and abilities;
  • Produce a thinking and technology-literate workforce;
  • Democratise education; and
  • Increase participation of stakeholders.

The primary teaching and learning components of the Smart School are:

  • Curriculum;
  • Pedagogy;
  • Assessment; and
  • Materials.

Each of these components has unique features. The key features of the Smart School curriculum are:

  • Overall development;
  • Knowledge, skills values and language across curriculum;
  • Explicit learning outcomes for different levels of ability; and
  • Integration of knowledge, skills and values for the information age.

The key features of the pedagogy followed for the Smart schools are:

  • Varied learning strategies to ensure basic competencies and overall development;
  • Teaching that responds to different learning styles; and
  • Classroom environment that is conducive for a variety of teaching and learning strategies.

Since assessment is an important component of the Smart schools, it consists of an on-line assessment system, a database and training and certification for assessors.

The materials used in Smart Schools are intended to:

  • Fulfill curriculum teaching and learning needs;
  • Challenge thinking, motivate learning, encourage active participation

There are also a variety of materials for networking between teachers and students. Conventional materials are complemented by electronic materials.

The Smart Schools’ management system is comprised of:

  • Technology (system implementation, system maintenance etc.)
  • Financial management (budgeting, reporting, accounting, purchasing etc.)
  • Human resources (teacher scheduling, hiring, staff training management etc.)
  • Facilities (maintenance, asset management etc.)
  • External resources (database management, liaison with external resources etc.)
  • Educational resources (resource database management, input to curriculum management etc)
  • Student affairs (student profiles, performance evaluation etc.)
  • School governance (communications, public relations, curriculum management etc.)
  • Security (Physical security, IT security etc.)

In the Smart School System, technology is used for the following purposes:

  • As an information processing and productivity tool;
  • To enhance professional development; and
  • To automate instruction.