Tablets in schools likely

e-Hijrah OPM Co-Programme Manager, Shahrizal Hj Emran, delivering a comprehensive overview of the six-year e-Hijrah Implementation Plan at the Regional Forum on New Media and ICT Trends in Education at Seameo Voctech yesterday. Picture: BT/Low Leng May

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Education system may go paperless

BRUNEI's education system may go paperless as the Ministry of Education is exploring the use of tablets as a learning resource for students, the Programme Manager of the e-Hijrah Office of Programme Management (OPM) disclosed yesterday.

At the Regional Forum on New Media and ICT Trends in Education, e-Hijrah OPM representatives delivered a comprehensive presentation on the six-year e-Hijrah Implementation Plan to bring ICT into Brunei's education system.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, e-Hijrah OPM Programme Manager, Josephine Seah said the move to use tablets in schools is currently under the review of the E-Government National Centre (EGNC), and would be introduced some time at the end of the year when it is approved.

"We have a project covering this one-to-one computing and we are exploring the use of (tablets)," Seah said, adding that the use of tablets opens up many opportunities for students to engage in independent learning.

"If you have this rich content, it will surely enable students to research and find out more information and they would be more independent in seeking knowledge."

Using tablets will be an appealing learning strategy for students of all ages as it will be "more fun" than the traditional chalk-and-talk method, she said.

"It has been proved that even two-year-old kids can play around with iPads with no problem," she added.

Though budget has been allocated for the purchase of tablets, Seah declined to disclose the amount.

She added that the tablet brand has not yet been decided but assured that there would definitely be tablets in schools as part of the e-Hijrah plan.

According to her, the content of the tablets would be developed by the Media and In-Service Centre, which will be evolved by the MoE in collaboration with the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB).

Co-Programme Manager Shahrizal Hj Emran said a space has been allocated near the Knowledge Hub at Anggerek Desa for the MISC, which will be a training and a learning lab to develop media content as teaching and learning resources.

The MISC will be a "full-fledged training centre" for teachers and content developers, he said.

"If (the) plan goes well, we may begin (the construction) in February. And the Media Centre will be available in June or July this year."

Officers from the Curriculum Development Department will be trained by global multi-national corporations (MNCs), who are partnering with the ministry on the e-Hijrah implementation plan in specific areas such as creating animations, and developing digital content.

Knowledge transfer needed to be conducted through trainings from the global MNCs before the centre is fully handed over to the ministry when the local teachers and developers will carry on "generating assets and developing content" for the schools, he said.

The Brunei Times