THE 1Bestarinet School Internet connection network and virtual learning platform is already in place in 1,275 schools in the peninsular.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zakarshi said the project is on track, adding that by 2013 all schools in Malaysia should have the service.

Unlike the previous school Internet connection network, Schoolnet, which had problems providing connection to rural schools, 1Bestarinet would eventually reach even rural schools in Sabah and Sarawak, he said at the presentation of Eduspec Holdings Bhd Dynabook IT exam certificates at SJK(C) Yuk Chai last Sunday.

“There are grades for rural schools. At grade one and two, you can still make phone calls with your handphones if you are in that area,” he added.

Under the 1Bestarinet project, schools in rural areas that do not have network connections will have telecommunication towers built for them, he said.
“It (1Bestarinet) will help boost IT literacy among students, which is in the agenda of the government’s education tranformation plan,” he said.

He noted that a thorough study of the national education system by the Education Ministry found that IT literacy is an area that needs to be emphasised upon.

“Apart from generic skills such as communication and thinking skills, IT skills are just as important for our students to be competitive in this age,” he said.

He added that modern education has integrated information technology as an educational tool and students need to know how to use those tools.
“Teaching students IT skills allow them to open doors to information and knowledge.

“It also helps them become independent and critical thinkers,” he said at a press conference after the certificate presentation ceremony.
The ceremony also saw the launch of Swipe, Eduspec Holdings Bhd’s introduc-tory robotics programme for pre-school children.

“I applaud the private sector’s CSR (corporate social responsibility)efforts to help the government develop technology savvy students,” said Dr Mohd Puad.

On a different note, he also said that the government is sincere and genuine in looking after the welfare of vernacular schools.

“We are working toward fulfilling the aspirations of vernacular schools,” said Dr Mohd Puad.

Source: The Star Online