The Malaysian Government’s Digital Economy Project (MyDIGITAL) was created with the aim of transforming Malaysia into a high-income, digitally-driven country and a regional leader in the digital economy.
A digital economy is defined as economic and social activities that involve the production and use of digital technology by individuals, businesses and government.
Previously, we mentioned their plans to attract or grow 5 unicorns by 2030, and that falls under the business section of the master plan.
On the rakyat On the other hand, one of their plans is to make sure all students have access to online learning. Throughout the past year, schools and institutions have had to resort to online courses to ensure continuity of education, and many initiatives in the private and public sectors have been launched to facilitate this transition.
In line with the continued development of this initiative, this is what the government has planned for the next 10 years with regard to the education sector.
“My device” program
For students, the blueprint said it would introduce what’s called a ‘My Device’ program to ensure all students have access to digital learning. The program will be implemented through public-private-people partnerships, where students will receive data plans and devices with strict security settings.
What they hope to achieve through this program is for students to have a more enhanced learning experience and to bridge the digital divide between students of all income groups.
The timeline for this program will be 2021-2025, and the lead for this initiative will be the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Electronic books and interactive content
The government will also encourage publishers of textbooks and workbooks to explore the digitization of their content, move it to e-books and create interactive formats. With this initiative, the government hopes to continuously improve digital materials for education at lower cost.
Protect student data
To do this, the master plan provides for developing and establishing technical guidelines for the use of data in the education sector. For this initiative, their goal is to have machine-readable data with access via an application programming interface (API) as well as a secure and reliable educational ecosystem.
Dictionary time: Simply put, an API is simply something that sends information between a website or application and a user.
A concrete example is buying movie tickets online. You go to the movie site, enter your movie, name and credit card information, and print your tickets. What happens between entering your information and receiving your ticket is thanks to APIs.
API and API Friends for Dummies
“My digital teacher” program
The technology may be ready, but if no one is equipped to use it, the efforts will be wasted. Thus, this professional development program aims to improve the skills of teachers so that they become more familiar with digital learning tools and technology as well as administrative work.
The government plans to do this by co-creating an innovative technology-based solution with technology companies to improve the organization of teachers’ work with regard to the development of learning plans, teaching aids and reports. In the private sector, we’ve seen many of these issues tackled by startups like Anak2U and Abelytics.
If this initiative succeeds as expected, we will see a higher rate of technology use among teachers as well as reduced time spent on administrative work.
The schedule for this program is between 2023 and 2025, and the master plan aims to train all teachers by 2025. This initiative is also led by the Ministry of Education.
Knowledge bank for teachers
In addition to this training, the MyDIGITAL initiative is in the process of deploying a free access knowledge bank for teachers for teaching material in digital format.
The quality of these teaching materials must meet the guidelines and standards set by the MOE and the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE).
The content of this knowledge bank includes manuals, practice materials, and teaching sources such as videos and podcasts. Like the “My Digital Teacher” program, this initiative will run from 2023 to 2025.
Make sure all schools have good connectivity
To do this, the MyDIGITAL plan indicates that it will introduce digital packages to facilitate digital learning. The way they plan to do this is to identify funding models with contributions from the private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs) to support the implementation of this initiative.
Dictionary time: Civil society refers to a wide range of organizations: community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), unions, indigenous groups, charities, faith-based organizations, professional associations and foundations.
Like the “My Device” program, this initiative will also run from 2021 to 2025 and will also be led by the MOE.
Digital creation schools
Encouraging the adoption of digital technology is not the only thing the master plan has in mind for Malaysian students. Digital Maker Schools aims to encourage students to become producers of technology rather than mere consumers.
The plan for this initiative is to increase the number of Champion schools across the country. Champion Schools are schools that embrace digital creation and innovation as their core value by:
- Create an active digital creation space
- Impact on society in digital creation through community engagement
- Participate in digital creation contests
- Constant search for partnership and support with the industry
So far there are 24 champion schools in Malaysia with Selangor and Sabah having the most of these schools (4 each). The process of developing a champion school is as such:
- Professional development for teachers, leaders and school counselors
- Creation of the Digital Maker Hub
- Creation of digital creators clubs (extracurricular)
- Training of student champions of Digital Maker (Duta Penggerak Digital)
- Engagement with their community
- Partnerships with the digital industry
Through this initiative, the government aims to have 2,500 champion schools by 2030.
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Here is a table to summarize what the MyDIGITAL plan has outlined for the education sector:
|“My device” program||“My digital teacher” training program||Digital packages to ensure good connectivity|
|Electronic books and interactive content||Knowledge bank||Create more My Digital Maker schools|
|Protect their data|
At this point, it is difficult to determine whether these goals will be met on time, as our current progress and the data for each target area is unclear. How then can we measure how close or far we are to the goals?
To add, there is no mention of the possibility for disabled students and their educators to take full advantage of the same initiatives. We would be curious whether this plan is flexible enough to meet the needs of students with different learning speeds and abilities, as they should not be left out of this plan to advance digitally.
- You can find out more about the MyDIGITAL education plan here.
- You can read more articles on MYDIGITAL than we have written here.
Featured Image Credit: Rentwise
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