Education Ministry to launch Smart digital textbooks from 2016

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry will launch the Smart Interactive Digital Textbook, the second wave of the innovation and transformation of digital textbooks, which is expected to be put into use from 2016 until 2025.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it is the continuation of the first wave of the transformation involving 313 textbooks, which could now be accessed by students, teachers and parents through the 1BestariNet portal.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said through the use of the Smart Interactive Digital Textbook, the teaching, learning, collaborative and administration processes will be done through virtual learning environment.

"The innovation is part of the ministry's efforts to solve the problems of heavy school bags, which have been repeatedly raised by many parents," he said at the ministry's Innovation Day celebration here today.

He also gave an assurance that the implementation of the digital textbook system would not involve any extra cost for the parents. Instead, he said all equipment, including the Google Chrome Book, will be given to the school permanently for the convenience of students.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin also suggested that the Education Ministry should begin its own research and development (R&D) work in infrastructural development of schools and universities to ensure that they would remain relevant with the requirements of the 21st century.

He said among the aspects to be focused on are the design of the schools, classrooms and even the lecture halls.

He added that the R&D work is vital to ensure what was built is in line with the development of the curriculum and pedagogy, as well as the overall future management of classroom and lecture hall.

"The research in the area should be intensified because the conventional concept of expanding educational access by having more schools will not be so relevant in the future with the existence of virtual learning environment," he said.

At the event, Muhyiddin also presented the 2014 Education Minister Quality Awards to Sekolah Kebangsaan (P) Sultan Ibrahim Johor Baru, Johor; Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Makmur Sabak Bernam, Selangor; Sekolah Tun Fatimah Johor Baru, and Sekolah Menengah Imtiaz Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.

The schools, which competed in the Urban Primary School, Rural Primary School, Urban Secondary School and Rural Secondary School categories, each received RM50,000. – Bernama