KUALA LUMPUR, 28 May 2014 – Technology has the power to economically expand the impact of education, and accelerate the growth potential of every student, educator and school. Microsoft Malaysia (“Microsoft”) continued its efforts to transform education and create real impact in Malaysia by bringing together its vision, innovative solutions, and students, teachers and education institutions – at the Digital Education Show Asia (DESA) 2014 from 27 to 28 May.
Education is a key area that is crucial towards achieving the country’s aspirations of becoming a high-income, knowledge-based nation by 2020. Microsoft reiterated its strong partnership and support to the Government in placing technology into the hands of educators and students, to equip them with 21st century skills in preparation for the jobs of tomorrow.
Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia said, “For more than 20 years, education has been a core priority for Microsoft and we continue to be committed to transforming education together with the Government. A quality education is not only a basic right, but a social imperative. It is the key to economic opportunity, not only for individuals, but for their communities. We’ve been amazed by the quality of education initiatives taking place in Malaysia, and are glad to be partnering the Government in driving this momentum through collaborative initiatives such as the Digital Education Show Asia. Through our investments, partnerships, programs and software we are helping ensure that all students have access to a quality education, all educators are equipped and prepared to meet the needs of students, and all leaders have a clear vision for true innovation with real impact.”
Creating real impact on education in Malaysia
Through interactive on-floor seminars, workshops and an extensive display of innovative technology in action at its exhibition booth, Microsoft provided an insight into how its technology solutions are advancing the education sector into the 21st century. A highlight of Microsoft’s programs at the event was a technology demo to Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Learning II, P. Kamalanathan, by students and the teacher of Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Tun Dr. Ismail 1 (SK TTDI 1), on how they are using Microsoft Office 365 on Surface tablets to create, collaborate and communicate in the classroom. SK TTDI 1, along with Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Jelutong, were the two exemplary schools at DESA 2014 which are benefiting from a more interactive way of teaching and learning using Microsoft’s education solutions.
Tan Jun Onn, a 12-year old student from SK TTDI 1 is enjoying the experience, “I really enjoy this new way of learning with my classmates. It is easy, fun and safe for us to explore the Internet for research, socialize, work on projects and assignments together, upload our work, and even do our presentations using Microsoft Office 365 on Surface.”
Teachers at SK TTDI 1 are also experiencing better productivity and collaboration with their students and fellow faculty members since going onto Office 365. Fauzi Aziz, a Science teacher with SK TTDI 1 said, “One of the key advantages of using Office 365 is that we are familiar with it. More importantly, we now have the capability to share information seamlessly between teachers and students, and between students themselves. With Surface, teachers at the school are now more mobile and productive when it comes to teaching our students.”
Present at DESA 2014 to share her experience in an informative workshop session entitled ‘Designing Learning for 21st Century Learners’ was the global award winner from Microsoft’s Education Global Forum 2014 and Expert Educator, Ammani Jeya Pirathaba – a teacher from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kempas, Johor Baharu. Likewise, the principal of Malaysia’s first-ever Microsoft Mentor School – Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang in Miri, Sarawak – Hajah Hasimah Abang Zen was also present at DESA to share her experience on the digital transformation her school had gone through to achieve the accolade. Mentor Schools are an elite group of leading-edge schools from around the world who have achieved change within their own education systems.
According to Lacerda, “Employers increasingly expect digital literacy and other 21st century skills: communication, collaboration, creative thinking, and problem-solving. This drives the demand for a highly equipped teaching force with ability to personalize instruction and address the needs of every student. Preparing students for the workforce is our top priority. Today’s students are tomorrow’s global workforce thus it is important for they to be prepared with the technology and cognitive skills they need to succeed.”
Dr. Norrizan Razali, Education Director for Microsoft Malaysia, echoed Lacerda’s sentiment, “We can’t educate tomorrow’s leaders with tools and practices from the past. Microsoft programs such as Expert Educators and Mentor Schools are our way of supporting that commitment to help educators and school leaders use technology to prepare their `students for the 21st century. We believe in the transformative power of technology in education and are fully committed to the success of each educator and student. At DESA 2014, we are very proud to bring these beneficiaries into the spotlight to show how Microsoft technology is transforming their learning and teaching experiences. Students and teachers at schools such as Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Tun Dr. Ismail 1, Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Jelutong – and tertiary institutions such as Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UteM) and Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia, Miri Campus – join the growing chorus of education institutions in Malaysia turning to our solutions for effective, immersive learning experiences that inspire teachers and students to realize their full potential.”
Microsoft solutions in Education continue to gain momentum
An increasing number of education institutions in Malaysia and around the world are turning to Microsoft. The English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) of the Ministry of Education and Al-Madinah International University (MEDIU) are two institutions of higher learning in Malaysia that have leveraged the transformational power of technology in education. With the adoption of Microsoft Office 365, ELTC and MEDIU have a secure and reliable, all-in-one solution that allows students, educators and faculty members to collaborate and work together from anywhere, and at any time. Students and teachers are reaping the benefits of these innovative technologies for an improved, more flexible learning environment that leads to better outcomes.
Just last week, Thailand’s Office of the Basic Education Committee (OBEC) and Microsoft Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding that will provide 8 million students and 400,000 teachers across Thailand with access to Microsoft Office 365 for Education – Microsoft’s largest cloud education partnership to date. This surpasses the partnership with the Sao Paolo State Department of Education to provide Office 365 to more than 4 million students; the 7.5 million Office 365 seats that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) deployed across 11,500 technical colleges and institutions in India; and the 4.5 million seats that the Catholic International Education Office deployed globally in 2012.