(This is the first part of the task, the second part will follow soon)
Wish list huh? If the task asks me what would my personal wish list, that would include spending a day at Glee set and driving an F1 car. However, the task what to figure out what would I do if I am handed the capacity to transform, change or improve ICT use in Malaysian classroom, so let’s dig into them now.
Before that, sorry but I don’t like the title “Wish List” as it sounds more like something dreamy or magical, something that you think before you sleep so that it will come true in your sleep. I prefer the word plan, as it refers to something that is do-able if given capacity to do so. These 10 agendas listed down here are created based on the idea that ICT is engaging, interactive, efficient yet expensive (if not affordable). If you find some agendas confusing, do read my explanation that follows.
#10 Giving subsidy for teachers to own ICT tools (Stakeholder: Teachers)
Why subsidy? Because I don’t believe in courses or special programmes on ICT. Seriously, what can be learned by 40years old plus folks in five days? I believe that by having personal access to their own ICT tools (computers, smart phones etc) they will learn a lot more through trials and errors. To help them acquire these items, why not provide them special subsidies? If given, the funding for the subsidy would be less than what we spent on ICT courses for teachers paying the instructors, the hotels, the caterers, the tools suppliers and so on.
#9 Ensuring adequate ICT facility-Student ratio (Stakeholder: MOE)
The notion that rural school are left behind in terms of available ICT facility is not true, as evidenced by our experience at schools in KL during our teaching practice. Take my school for example, there were 1500++ pupils with only 1 computer room and 1 access room, computers of total 20 units only. That is 1 computer for 75 pupils, or 1 computer for 2 classes. To compare, my mother’s school in Kelantan has got 1 computer:40 pupils ratio. To improve the situation I would suggest increasing the ratio to 1 computer for 30 pupils. Assuming that national average is 50 pupils per computer and the overall pupils numbers between 12 to 15 million, the MOE need to add 12500 more computer units at the cost of RM2000 per unit, requiring funds totaling RM250million. As time goes, the ratio could be lowered gradually.
#8 Make ICT pupil-friendly (Stakeholder:Pupils)
As I said in my previous entry, what’s the point of asking the pupils to enter the computer lab without allowing them to use it? Let’s make it bigger: What’s the point of having computers in school when the pupils rarely use them? Let’s be realistic, when we buy computers, we look at the specs, why you ask, because we want to play games, watch movies, listen to songs and other entertainment benefit. We don’t buy computers simply because the assignments required their use. It’s the same with kids, they see computers as an outlet of entertainment. Few kids have good access to computers, and when they go to school they expect to play with it. Will the teachers let that happen? ABSOLUTELY NO! Here’s an idea, why not each day after school, allow the kids to use the computers for whatever purpose they want (by reservation) under the supervision of a teacher? Let them play and they will grow fond of it!
#7 Establish an ICT platform for parents (Stakeholder:Parents)
I remembered when I was studying in a Smart School, we had this program for teachers, parents and students. Parents could have access to their kids’ scorecard, attendance and other school information or announcements that matter to them. I also remembered, they never told my mom about it. Why not, revive the program, give it a try in urban areas where the parents are ICT-connected. This way the parents would get involved a lot more with their kids’ education thus ensuring that they would contribute something for our ICT program. Furthermore, it would serve as an evidence that our ICT program is not simply wastage of public fund. Whats more, they are the taxpayers that fund the program.
#6 Improving connection between school administrators and pupils and parents through social media (Stakeholders:Parents)
I got this idea from my group pal, Asmah, who wrote that school admins should be encouraged to use social media (FB, twitter etc) “to get in touch with one another or to get updates on what’s happening around them”. I believe that most teachers and school admins do have social networking but they’re only using it for personal use. If they could use it to transmit information like announcements, notices it would be good. I remembered there were a few times my TP school gave pupils of certain years holiday during UPSR but some didn’t get or remember the notice and they came to school during the holiday. It was quite embarrassing that such misinformation still happen these days. Perhaps using social network to inform and remind pupils and parents about such things would be good!