The government of malaysia through its Ministry of Education (MoE) and Microsoft has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to encourage the use of ICT in teaching and learning – underscoring the importance of 21st century learning for classrooms, teachers, and students alike.

In line with Shift 7 in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 – to leverage ICT to scale up quality learning across the nation – both MoE and Microsoft would work towards equipping the schools in Malaysia with the resources, training, expertise and technologies to help them better prepare students for life and work in the 21st century.

It would also provide teachers with tools, forums and resources to build communities where they can collaborate, share ideas and best practices, while accessing quality content. The ultimate objective of the MoU is to empower students to incorporate ICT in their schoolwork and learning.

Celebrating the partnership, YB Dato’ Seri Mahdzir bin Khalid, Minister of Education, said: “The Ministry aspires to create an education system that prepares Malaysia’s children for the rapidly globalizing world. We are actively pursuing innovations to integrate ICT into teaching and learning in a meaningful way that would address needs of students and educators. Our partnership with Microsoft will play a pivotal role in realizing the potential of ICT to scale up quality learning across Malaysia.

We will continue to partner with them to construct an education system that is geared to meet the challenges of the 21st-century economy.”

Partnership with schools

As part of this MoU, MOE will identify a range of schools – from high performance to rural schools – which will be a part of the Microsoft Showcase Schools Program.

These are defined as schools that are engaged in digital transformation to improve learning outcomes.

Together, Microsoft and MOE will then engage these schools, in which Microsoft with the advisory and guidance of the Educational Technology Division (ETD) will develop ICT-related resources like content and tools to enhance digital literacy.

Engaging teachers

As part of this partnership, Microsoft and MOE will also provide content and trainers to sharpen the digital skills of teachers. The training would be based on Microsoft’s 21st Century Learning Design, which looks at aspects like collaboration, self-regulation, using ICT, knowledge construction, skilled communication and creativity and problem-solving.

To encourage uptake of digital learning, the partnership encourages and showcases best practices. Every year, 100 educators will be selected and recognized as Microsoft Innovative Educators – educator visionaries who are using technology to pave the way for their peers for better learning and student outcomes.

Benefits for students

Students ultimately benefit from this MoU, as they build on their 21st-century skills to ultimately improve employability, and lead more productive lives in the future.

Commenting on the MoU, K Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia said, “We applaud the efforts of the Ministry of Education and are thrilled to build together an effective platform for communication and collaboration amongst Malaysian school stakeholders. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, and we remain committed to promoting 21st-century learning in Malaysia. We have some the world’s finest ICT solutions that will help the government, schools and educators to leverage the power of information technology and harness their potential in the digital ecosystem.”