The Malaysia Smart School

Malaysia needs to make the critical transition from an industrial economy to a leader in the Information Age. In order to make this vision reality, Malaysians need to make a fundamental shift towards a more technologically literate, thinking work force, able to perform in a global work environment and use the tools available in the Information Age. To make this shift, the education system must undergo a radical transformation. The schooling culture must be transformed from one that is memory-based to one that is informed, thinking, creative and caring, through leading-age technology. It is against this background that Smart School has been made on of the flagship applications in the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). Smart school is therefore no longer a fashionable luxury but the only way forward.

By the year 2010, all the approximately ten thousand Malaysian schools will be Smart School. In these schools, learning will be self-directed, individual-paced, continuous and reflective. This will be made possible through the provision of multimedia technology and world-wide networking. With these facilities, learning will be shift from being teacher-centred to student-centred, supported by a flexible and open ended curriculum. Smart Schools will lead to the full democratization of education. These schools are not for the smartest students but really a smart way of ensuring that every student – strong or weak, rich or poor – stretches to his fullest potential in a way that is the best suited to his learning pace and style. The curriculum will be therefore recognise that students have different learning needs. Computer technology will allow for this flexibility and diversity to be built into the system. This will also narrow the opportunity gap between the affluent who can afford advanced technology in their homes and the less affluent in society.

The Malaysia Smart School is a learning institution that has been systemically reinvented in terms of teaching-learning practices and school management in order to prepare children for the information age. The qualities of Malaysia Smart School is a philosophy that says all students can learn if taught, coupled with high expectations for all students. Besides, a broadband curriculum that considers the different capabilities and needs of all students. Next, a school climate that is conductive to learning and on-going assessment that supports good instruction strong and professional principals and teachers. Lastly, a high level of parent and community involvement and support.

The Smart School teaching and learning environment will be shaped in four main areas which is totally different from the normal national school, each of which will be a critical element in defining the overall teaching and learning experience. The Smart school curriculum will be designed according to best practices of other successful Smart Schools, incorporating elements that will enable the education system to achieve the goals of the National Philosophy of Education but for normal national schools, the curriculum is designed to complete and only helps student to achieve the development of student in the schools. Curriculum for Smart School is designed to helps students to achieve overall and balanced development include intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual. This element of individual development is important for student to achieve their goals.

Smart school pedagogy is appropriate mix of learning strategies to ensure mastery of basic competencies and promotion of holistic development. It allow for individual differences in learning styles to boast performance. The classroom atmosphere is compatible with different teaching-learning strategies. All this is different from normal national school which is used the normal blackboard and at the same time the atmosphere is not compatible with different teaching-learning strategies that used by the teacher. Normal national school is trying to adapt with the new skill of teaching and the improvement can be seen step by step for the future education.

The Smart School assessment system will involve a significant departure from traditional assessment system. The characteristics of the Smart School assessment are holistic, element-based, criterian-referenced, on-line, conducted in various forms, using multiple approaches and instruments. The benefits of all this is to help realize the National Philosophy of Education and assure the quality. Characteristics for assessment normal national school are conducted in same forms, not using multiple approaches and instruments. The assessments are not sophisticate likes the Smart School.

The Smart School Teaching-Learning Materials will be designed to fully support the new teaching-strategies for Smart School. The characteristic is to meet curricular and instructional needs, is cost effective, as well as cosmetically and technically adequate. The benefit is accommodates students’ different needs and abilities resulting in the fuller realization of students’ capabilities and potential. The normal national schools are lack of Teaching-Learning Materials such as projector, LCD, computer and white screen. This lacking of Teaching-Learning Materials for normal national school still has time to upgrade and need more sponsor to contribute some Teaching-Learning Materials to the schools.

The Smart School initiatives has five main goals which focus on the need to develop a skilled work force for the Information Age and to promote goals of the National Philosophy of Education which is produce thinking and technology-literate workforce, democratize education, increase participation of stakeholders, provide all-around development of the individual and provide opportunities to enhance individual strengths and abilities. All this should be achieved to make sure the Smart School in Malaysia is the best around the world.

All around development of individual include intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual. This element of individual development is important for student to achieve their goals in the future. As a student, they should know their needs for the balance development in their life. Strategies that can be taken are provided a broad curriculum for all students and teach values and language across the curriculum. By the way, students are able to active with their curriculum activities such as club and sports. This provide student to achieve the first goals of Smart School which is all around development of individuals. Next is emphasise thinking skills. Thinking skills is about the way student should think to resolve the problem. Student should be creative and think widely across their mind. At the end, they can generate a new idea or theory for future development of our country.

Besides, provision to develop individual strengths and abilities. Individual strengths and abilities are very important towards student because they have many obstacles that should be faced to success in their study. Provide elective in the curriculum and allow for vertical integration (virtual express class) can though the student to face the reality nowadays. They should alert with the environment and try to adapt with the surrounding. Brilliant student should know their strengths and abilities to make sure their weakness can be cover and try to develop a new skill to protect their original strengths and abilities. Teachers are ready to guide and help is necessary for students to develop their own strengths and abilities.

Next, produce a thinking and technology-literate workforce. An integrated set of strategies will be employed to achieve this goals are teach thinking across the curriculum and apply technology in teaching and learning. Application of technology in teaching and learning is the best way to implement student to approach this goal because students are able to communicate with the world and positively can bring something new to Malaysia specifically. Malaysia need someone that can think widely and know about technology nowadays because in these era, world is using technology and this is the right position of our country to be and posited beside the best country in the world such as Japan and United State. Malaysia can compete with the others country if this issues is taking seriously by our government to successfully develop The Malaysia Smart School.

After that, democratize education also the goal of The Malaysia Smart School. An integrated set of strategies will be employed to achieve this goals are provide equal access to learning opportunities and provide for differing abilities, styles and paces of learning. Different people have different style of study. So, as a good teacher they should know and try to make a new thing and variation their style of teaching to make sure student are not boring with them. Student also a teenagers and they are attracted with the new thing especially about technology. The school environment is important because teacher should know and play their role to attract student during teaching process with the school environment. As a student, they also know their part and try to fulfill their own hope and if the education provided is suitable, they can go through and the goal of Smart School is achieved.

Last but not least is increasing participation of stakeholders. There are some strategies to fulfill the last goals of The Malaysia Smart School which is create awareness of what happens in schools, enable easy and speedy communication with the school using technology and provide opportunities for stakeholders to participate. We should take an action before anything bad is happen in the future. Prevention is better than cure. It is the best word can be said to show that we should awareness of what happens in schools. To success this goals, we should easy and speedy communication with the school using technology. Parents and community can easily get the information about their children and schools. This is the best way for parents to know about the curriculum and academic achievement of their children.

The school management should provide opportunities for stakeholders such as parents and community to participate. This can increase participation of stakeholders if the opportunities provided to the stakeholders are successfully full by the school management. The relationship between community and the school is closer and fulfill the objective of The Malaysia Smart School. All this goals should be achieved to make sure the Smart School in Malaysia is the best around the world.

The successful of Smart School is not depends on the planning of the project, but the responsibility of stakeholders in many aspect that taking care across the Smart School programme. The stakeholders can deliver services with ease and facilitate processes, they need to identify common goals that alike Smart objective. One of the main goals in Smart School is to increase participation of stakeholders. In other word, all citizens have responsibility in increasing the level of national education in the world view.

The government has provide much money to set up teaching and learning facilities especially teaching aid like desktop, laptop, projector, internet connection, hardware and education software. Smart School also provides opportunities to enhance individual strength and abilities. Every assessment or work given is point to this objective. Some of them might be given through online. So, teachers, students and parents should be able to access on-line assessment items. This smart school assessment will be flexible and learner friendly, while assuring the quality of the assessment information by using multiple approaches and instruments. This is important to make sure the students also can undergo their learning at anywhere, anytime and anyone can help them.

The teacher is an important component in the teaching and learning situation. His or her knowledge, skills and attitude are equipments in creating the best conditions for their students learning. What we can say here is, the teacher is an important factor that can determine and influence the future of young people than do the members of other professions. So, we can consider that teachers play an important role to provide education and other moral good human behaviors to students.

Good and creative teacher is a person who can designed their own creative teaching methods and play with emotions, factual data and moral values broaden the learning experience and make it more relevant to everyday life situations. If the role of a teacher is to teach, the role of a student must be to learn. However, it has been agreed that learning is not only an exercise in reading and reciting facts, but in gaining a deeper insight of events and situations. Through the use of drama and dramatic conventions a teacher does not only teach and learn the materials but also the why and how the materials do.

Smart School teachers need to learn a facilitate and encourage students in taking charge of their own learning. Teachers will continue to be the students mentor. Each student will have one or several virtual mentors who can be accessed anytime they want like in class and through the online. These mentors will monitor the online activities of their area, offering advice, suggestions and feedback. Such mentors will also report any significant happening in the child’s learning to the parents, teachers and any other interested stakeholders. The teachers not only teaching, but their work includes as a mentor, manager and reporter. They are mapping of performance goals with student activities, offering real-time course corrections, replacing evaluation through periodic tests. Each transformation that teacher make in the class will continuously until the objective of Smart School achieve.

The changing from normal school to smart school will need changing the culture of school, moving away from classic memory-based learning. It give a chance for students to thinking, be creative, and caring in all students. So, the students need more exercise on each topic and have responsibility on their own education and their future. It is because Smart School gives opportunity to students to decide their way but still under teacher attention. Here, the students can explore the knowledge with their own creativity.

The ways of the student works play the major role to determine the successful of Smart School. The students should participate actively in all teaching and learning process. If the students become passive in class, the expansion of knowledge and transferring knowledge is not occurring perfectly. The students mind set to achieve glory in their education must set in the early age. They must work harder and not depend on someone to explore something new in their life.

In the smart learning scenario, students will make extensive use of facilities that can help them learn in the school as well as away from it. They must know that the facilitator or teachers is useful for them in each learning activities. The students also must courage to work in distributed, collaborative groups, playing a more proactive role in the teaching-learning process. It is for their future life especially in their work time. Learning will eventually become student-centric, with the students becoming experts in managing the learning environment. The power of controlling is given to them by the teacher because the teacher has become as facilitators who only giving help and clues for them to make an exploration of knowledge easier.

When parents are involved in their children's education, both children and parents are likely to benefit. Parents can play the major role in helping Smart School provide individualized education for students. Research has shown that students do better when their parents are involved. Researchers reports that parents participation in their children's schooling frequently enhances children's self-esteem, improves children's academic achievement, improves parent-child relationships, helps parents develop positive attitudes towards school and a better understanding of the schooling process.

Despite these advantages, it is not always easy for parents to find time and energy to become involved or to arrange their time with schedules for school events. Some of them might sense as an uncomfortable experience and have their hands full with a job and other children. Recently, teachers and other school staff have made special efforts to increase communication with parents and encourage involvement in children's learning experiences via technology progress by the government.

Parents are welcome in school like to involve in teaching-learning, participating in developing of educational materials and planning the assessment for their children. Parental involvement can be seen to fall into three types, behavioral, intellectual and personal. Actively participating parents help their children in their academic development by going to schools and participating or supporting school programs. The caring parents can also motivate teachers to become more careful in dealing with particular student. It is also give opportunity for parents and teachers to take care more on the students.

Time that has spends by the parents in the school is a very quality time. Parents should give some time in this field because their children are in the transforming time to the more matured in life. But, parents must be widely acknowledge and accepted, in order to create significant buy-in for parents to assume a much stronger role in the Smart School education process. This process is not at school only, but also at home. The parents also must monitoring their children progress, become a guider who are motivating and counseling children in each time.

The understanding parents are need in planning and working of Smart School. Even teachers can supervise their children, parents are should not giving fully responsibility to the teachers only because parents also have their own responsibility on their child. While it is possible for a teacher to implement such a parent involvement program alone, it is much easier if the school and the whole is committed to the Smart School program. Administrative staff can relieve some of the burden of implementing a comprehensive parent involvement program, and can offer help and support to teachers.

The effectiveness of teaching and learning is depending on the skill and knowledge of the teachers. This aspect is the major factor that can determine the successful of a smart school before taking other factor. The skill is the ability of someone to do something and the knowledge in this view is the information that the teachers have. The continuous professional development of teacher in their knowledge and skills will benefit their students.

The important things of teacher duty are to prepare students for the Information Age. There are a few strategies that the teachers must take care. Firstly, they must provide all round developments with provision for individual abilities, offering a broad curriculum for all, with electives, that is vertically integrated, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. To provide all this kind of behaviors, the teachers must provide all this with them before can teach others. The skill that the teachers need is the psychology skills to influence the students. To understand the teenagers behavior, the educators must study the teenagers development theory. From that, teacher might use soft skill to bring and guide the students on a right way.

The second perfect strategy is emphasise intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth, concentrating on thinking, developing and applying values, and using correct language across the curriculum. Teachers who work in Smart School must encourage their students to have good critical thinking. Despite giving much knowledge to their students, they also must know how to understand each learned by their self. In developing students mind set, the teachers also can applying good moral values in each aspect of learning due to the government principle to provide integral human for nation in the future. In this millennium era, the teenagers had confused with their identity especially in their acting and language. They had influence with the west culture. The major thing that we can see is mixing language. Malaysian will lose their identity if the younger do not appreciate what they have. All this kind of acting can be change by the teachers, they should use appropriate language in class. It is important to foster the teenagers to use correct language, but some term in some language need word or sentence in others language to explain it. So, it can be excuse.

The Smart School had been developed in such powerful and had big impact of their curriculum. The smart school curriculums are meaningful, socially responsible, multicultural, reflective, holistic, global, open ended, goal-based and technologically. The educator must know each kind of Malaysian culture in a large aspect. So, the curriculum itself shall promote holistic learning and allowing children to progress at their own paces.

The institution that provide teachers must produce teachers with technology literate that can think critically, encouraging thought and creativity across the curriculum and applying technology effectively in teaching and learning. Before entering any class, teachers are responsible to know and study about the issue that will discuss with their students. It is involve how to use a computer, projector, microphone, speaker, scanner or other equipments that can be use in the class. Have a creative ways of delivering will make a good attractions to the students to focus to the teacher in each second of learning time. Although the teacher has ability to use the digital media in their class, they also must know how to manage the instrument correctly like maintain the ability of the instruments.

The other skill, knows how to be democratize in learning. They must offering equal access to learning opportunity and accommodating differing learning abilities, styles and paces. Its mean, they must manage each step they take in class to make sure the facilities provide is enough for every students. It also to prevent buyers for some student especially the passive students and minority races.

Our education system had go several revolution in making a world class of education system. The expansion of Malaysia Education must follow the recent world expansion especially the expansion of latest technology. Introduction to technology in education field like Smart School is one of the steps to achieve National Vision and increasing the value of national education. To achieve this kind of golden goals, all participants are responsible to create thus education vision successful. If these visions are successful, it will give benefit to Malaysia totally. Finally, developing national education is not only government or Ministry of Education responsibility, but all Malaysian are involved in bringing national education through excellent.

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