Are Malaysians really ready to learn virtually?

I am proud of the latest breakthrough in our education culture, which recently saw musician-cum-entrepreneur Ariz Ramli aka Caprice launching Classruum.com, bringing to life his e-learning platform project funded by Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd.

Prior to that, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd was also awarded a similar project by our Ministry of Education, valued RM 4.1 billion and called 1BestariNet. As a concerned Malaysian, I am wondering how much of knowledge the policy-makers and educators in the education sector have about the concept of e-learning. It has been promoted and conveyed within the circles of these professionals for quite some time, and I am also concerned over how prepared they are to educate public school students in each education level, from pre-school to secondary.

I have gone through various experiences with teachers in some public schools, and seen them just teach basic knowledge during ICT classes which most students have already learned on their own through the Internet to meet their own needs. My main concern is how up-to-date is the ICT teaching syllabus given to teachers by the Ministry of Education.

I have gone through the system structure of 1BestariNet’s virtual learning platform by using my siblings’ credentials, just to experience the performance of the platform including its services. I was able to access the platform as my siblings’ schools were covered for the service. Sad to say, that platform is not user-friendly in terms of normal school students’ capabilities. There is after all a difference in the e-learning platforms of private and public schools. The portal should be made more user-friendly within the context mentioned above with regard to user interface, usage guide and contents, among other technical aspects.

I would like to also express my concern over the teaching syllabus, in that it should be frequently updated to adhere to the latest technological developments, both locally and internationally. I am afraid that our future generation may not be able to cope with various kind of new technologies that keep cropping up, resulting in our workers not being up to date.

The technologically-awkward phenomenon will always be around among fresh school leavers which can be easily noticed when they embark on their tertiary studies that involves an e-learning culture more than during the years of primary, and secondary schools. Being tech-savvy will become a crucial skills set for these students as they prepare themselves to enter the workforce after graduating.

In short, it all goes back to the professionals in the education sector who are responsible for preparing our future generations to become self-motivated learners. If not, then what is the point of implementing various technology initiatives like e-learning projects and the recent Internet of Things (IoT) campaign introduced by MIMOS if the younger generation are not tech-savvy enough to embrace new technological challenges brought by the world?

By Muhammad Hafiz Bin Mohd Hidzir, 21, Selangor

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