In a major announcement earlier today, Google shared that nearly ten million students, teachers and parents in Malaysia would begin using Google Apps to support their national vision for education. Ten million! In order to support that, the government will provide Chromebooks to students. The powerful synergy these technologies offer to students will play a pivotal role in supporting Malaysia’s national view of the value of education and the changes that are needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In their government report, Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, the Prime Minister stated,
In order to meet our high aspirations amidst an
increasingly competitive global environment, we cannot
stand still. Our country requires a transformation of its entire
education system, lifting achievement for all students. Make
no mistake; this will require an entirely new perspective,
so that students develop skills needed for the 21st century.
Rather than simply adding staff and facilities, there is now a
need to understand and improve the dynamics of the teaching
and learning process.
The United States is also “striving to transform its education system lifting achievement for all students” yet our methods are a bit different. We’ve had No Child Left Behind and now Race to the Top with some accompanying funding, as well as a Common Core Curriculum to define our expectations. These come with accompanying high stakes assessments. Perhaps a better balance (a “Smarter Balance” if you will) would be to support our national initiatives and goals with the requisite tools for moving forward. Imagine if our bickering over budgets and extremist politics was replaced instead by a collective statement similar to the one below from Malaysia’s Prime Minister. Now more than ever, leadership matters.
But despite this, rest assured that not only are the
Government and Ministry of Education committed to
delivering on these goals, I am also personally committed.
And hand in hand with the rakyat, I have every confidence
that we will persevere and deliver. From individual parents
to members of the local community to the private sector, we
all have a role to play and a personal stake in improving our
education system. A role that will help sow the seeds of our
children’s success. A role that we should all be proud to play.
So God willing, let us take this exciting, challenging and –
most importantly – this necessary journey together, as one