Future Skills for All complements existing national curriculum on RBT, SK and ASK subjects digitally
KOTA KINABALU, 24 FEBRUARY 2020– Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and UNICEF with the support of the Ministry of Education (MOE) today announced their collaboration to embark on a Future Skills For All programme. It aims to make the learning of digital skills easier and more accessible for schoolchildren.
The launch was graced and officiated by YB Jenifer Lasimbang, the Assistant Minister for Sabah’s Ministry of Education and Innovation. Also, in attendance were the Deputy Director of Resource and Educational Technology Division Dr. Qhamariah Samu, Deputy Director of Education Sector, Sabah Education Department Tuan Haji Abidin bin Marjan; Digi Head of Sustainability Philip Ling, MDEC Vice President of Digital Talent Development Division Dr. Sumitra Nair and UNICEF Education Specialist Azlina Ahmad Kamal.
Future Skills For All is a three-year programme that aims to support MOE’s efforts to strengthen the teaching and learning of Computational Thinking and Computer Science in national schools. The initiative will see the digitisation of modules for the Design and Technology (RBT) subject for Primary 5-6 students, Basic Science Computer (ASK) and Science Computer (SK) subjects for students from Secondary 1-3 and 4-5 respectively. The digital modules, comprising tutorial videos, practical quiz assessment and project making contents will supplement learnings from existing textbooks used by schoolchildren as part of their education syllabus, thus leveling up their comprehension of these subjects.
The programme, which is in its first phase, will be implemented nationwide. Schoolchildren and educators can begin accessing the digitised modules of the Design and Technology, and Science Computer subjects via MOE’s Google Classroom platform towards end of March this year.
In order to ensure widespread reach and to drive adoption of the modules across schools and community centres, the Future Skills For All programme will progressively be introduced at Digi Internet centres, Digital Maker Hubs affiliated to the #mydigitalmaker movement, state libraries, rural internet centres, alternative learning centres for refugee communities, and other selected community centres across Malaysia. Additionally, over 1,300 micro:bit starter kits which are pocket-sized micro-computers often used in programming studies, will be distributed to these community centres to provide students with a more enriching and hands-on learning experience.
Programme to kickstart with a pilot in Sabah
Today, the programme kickstarted in Sabah with a 4-hour workshop hosted in Universiti Malaysia Sabah with 60 digital natives consisting of teachers and schoolchildren from 4 primary schools around Kota Kinabalu, internet centre managers, representatives from e-desa, state libraries and selected non-profit organisations. At the workshop, participants were introduced to the digitised materials and to develop the required competencies to enable a training and learning environment, all of which are facilitated through a digital classroom format.
Speaking at the launch, YB Jenifer highlighted that schoolchildren in Sabah, primarily those from the rural and underserved areas currently lack the access to digital learning resources that can otherwise assist in bridging the skills gap, thus stimulating the growth and development of future talent in the state.
YB Jenifer said, “We are excited to kickstart this programme in Sabah because our schoolchildren in rural communities are currently learning these subjects through the aid of textbooks without the opportunity to have hands-on learning as their schools may be deprived of the necessary tools. We want to change that through the implementation of this programme and empower schoolchildren from all walks of life to have equal access to future skills learning.”
The Future Skills for All Programme is also supported by Telenor Group, through its Global Partnership framework with UNICEF Global. Through this long-standing partnership, Digi, MDEC and UNICEF Malaysia aspire to explore more sustainable ways to enrich the education experience for schoolchildren in underserved communities and aim to build more digital modules to upskill them in its upcoming second and third phases of the programme.
What our partners have to say:
Philip Ling, Digi’s Head of Sustainability
“It has been Digi’s ambition to engage 1 million schoolchildren in Malaysia by 2020 as part of our Yellow Heart commitment and this programme helps set that goal in motion. We hope to empower the underserved communities and strengthen inclusivity within rural areas by establishing a sustainable education programme focused on capacity building. Moving forward, we are looking to expand the availability of the programme to other communities in Sabah and ultimately, across the country, with the aim of reaching a wider community of schoolchildren and to make learning interactive and a hands-on experience.”
Dr. Sumitra Nair, MDEC’s Vice President of Digital Talent Development Division
“We are pleased to be working with MOE, Digi and UNICEF to enrich the teaching and learning experience of digital tech skills via this initiative. It is very much in line with the aspiration of the #mydigitalmaker movement of MDEC to provide Malaysian youth with essential digital innovation and creativity skills for the future workforce.”
Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia
“Through this initiative, we want to close the gap between those with access to digital technology and those without. This is one part of our efforts to ensure quality education for all in Malaysia, especially indigenous children, children with disabilities, and undocumented children. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to ensure that no one is left behind – this includes equipping them with the digital skills needed for the future.”
For more information on Digi, visit www.digi.com.my.