Majority of teachers, students ready for digital education - Educators

Students' interest in digital activities is increasing.

16 May 2024 07:30am
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

KUALA LUMPUR - The transition towards digitalisation and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) shows that the majority of educators are ready for digital education introduced by the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) through the Digital Education Policy.

So much so, that it was quite apt when MOE chose ‘Guru Jauhari Digital, Aspirasi Negara Madani’ as the theme for this year’s Teacher's Day, which is celebrated throughout the country today.

The Digital Education Policy (DPD) was launched on Nov 28, 2023, by Education Minister, Fadhlina Sidek, in line with the government’s efforts to produce a digitally fluent and competitive generation involving both educators and students.

A teacher at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Kubang Kerian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Wan Azrina Muhamad Zuki, noted that students' interest in digital activities is increasing.

"My school is equipped with advanced digital equipment, including smartboards and audio-visual systems for hybrid teaching,” Wan Azrina, who has been serving as a teacher since 2002, told Bernama.

She also emphasised the importance of mentorship among teachers to ensure all educators can adapt to this technology.

Wan Azrina said that student participation in digital competitions is also becoming more active, with the school submitting five entries to the ‘Imagine Junior Cup’ competition organised by Microsoft, demonstrating the students' engagement and enthusiasm in the digital field.

Echoing this sentiment, a former teacher at SK Coronation Park, Ipoh, Perak, V. Krishna Murthi, said the current era of education has much improved compared to when he began his teaching career in 1989.

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He noted that educational resources were very limited at that time, relying heavily on reading materials such as newspapers.

"Nowadays, some schools are equipped with hybrid equipment to facilitate students and teachers in accessing knowledge more easily,” he said.

Krishna Murthi also shared his experience as a special education teacher at the school, highlighting the significant challenges in teaching regular students versus the ones with special needs.

"In 2006, I taught students with learning difficulties. The approach used was very different from that for regular students. Almost every day, I learned about their emotions and behaviours, but it was all worth it as I always prioritised the responsibilities entrusted to me,” he said.

Meanwhile, an education expert from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Dr Anuar Ahmad, also supported the government's digital education initiative, saying that educators and students need to be equipped not only with knowledge but also with the appropriate tools, such as hybrid equipment.

He also compared Malaysia with neighbouring countries like Singapore and Vietnam, which have advanced significantly in AI-based education, where teachers act more as facilitators rather than traditional instructors.

"In Singapore, students are provided with iPads at school for free. They have already moved towards AI, which goes beyond mere digitalisation.

"Learning there is different and the environment is more like a workplace. There are several counters for students to carry out projects, and they present their project results to teachers who act as facilitators. This also enhances students' communication skills as they frequently conduct presentations,” he said.

The National Teacher's Day celebration for 2024 will be held on May 16 at the Sultan Ahmad Shah International Convention Centre (SASICC) in Kuantan, Pahang. - BERNAMA