WHEN Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin visited the Daphne High School in Mobile, Alabama last month, he observed the students' learning style and was pleasantly surprised that they were using laptops and had excluded textbooks.
Read the NST report HERE.
Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said this was an innovative
education process that Malaysian schools could emulate given that
Internet and broadband facilities have been extensively installed in
The school is a top-performing school.
Muhyiddin was impressed with the students' thinking
skills and creativity.
He said they seem to be "independent and have good communication
"When I asked them questions, they answered with confidence and
"When they came up to the rostrum to talk, they knew what exactly they wanted to say.
"It shows the level of the school's excellence, and the attitude and
skills are factors which we must develop among our students."
When I posted this on my FB page, I said that this is good but needs to be studied carefully. The US education system is so different from ours. Besides, it is just one school although using of laptops in schools is in practice across the globe.
There was a lot of response which was good for debate.
Before I touch on the laptop programme, let me just say here that those students who displayed confidence etc...they are typical of American students. Not peculiar to Daphne.
So, basically, I agree that we cannot be left behind. Providing laptops for students is not new (the Terengganu E book project in 2008) , but the laptops are for not in place of textbooks but to complement and enhance learning
I feel we have to put a lot of things in place first, repair here and there, overhaul here and there, decide to do away with textbooks and then implement this laptop-in-place-of-textbook programme. basically it is revolutionising learning.
My worry is that we are so good at launching, implementing but not sustaining. Also there have been cases of ambitious projects gone wrong.
My sister pointed out that we should make sure that there is zero-crime on the streets if we want our kids to be carrying laptops in their bags.
University students have been known to be targets of snatch thieves because it is known that they have laptops in their bags.
You don't fix the crime rate, our school kids will be easy targets of criminals.
You cannot deny that this will enhance learning because it has been proven in many cases.
In fact, in the US, they're already migrating from laptops/netbooks to tablets...
So, yes..embrace the future, but fix our shortcomings first, then learn, at least from the Terengganu experience and from the best practices elsewhere.
Anyway, I decided to give my two cents worth in my Saturday column. Read it HERE.