ICT in Education Malaysian Case Study

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                CASE STUDY ONE ON ICT INTEGRATION INTO EDUCATION
                                           IN MALAYSIA


                         THE MALAYSIAN SMART SCHOOL PROJECT


Component 1: Broader Environmental Context (covers internal and external factors that
contribute to an effective programme on ICT use in education)


1. Educational system responsiveness
    a. Issues:
        The need for Malaysia to make a critical transition from an industrial economy to becoming a
        leader in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Age.
        The need for Malaysians to make the shift towards a more technologically literate, thinking
        work force, able to perform in a global work environment and use the tools available in the
        ICT Age.
    b. How and why the issues were addressed:
        To make the shift, the education system has to undergo a radical transformation. Many
        decisions were made which facilitated this transformation.
        In 1995, the Prime Minister of Malaysia announced that the country was embarking on an
        ambitious programme to establish the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), a 15-by-50
        kilometre zone, stretching from the Kuala Lumpur City Centre to the new Kuala Lumpur
        International Airport.
        In August 1996, the Prime Minister launched the MSC at the inaugural Multimedia Asia
        Conference and Exhibition. The MSC is a regional launch site for companies developing or
        using leading multimedia technology. It brings together the following four key elements:
            Best possible physical infrastructure, including the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, the new
             Kuala Lumpur International Airport, rapid rail links to Kuala Lumpur, a smart highway,
             and two intelligent garden cities (Cyberjaya and Putrajaya)
            New laws, policies, and practices designed to enable and encourage electronic commerce,
             facilitate the development of multimedia applications, and position Malaysia as the
             regional leader in intellectual property protection
            High capacity global communications infrastructure built on the MSC’s 2.5 – 10 gigabit
             digital optical fibre backbone and using Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switches to
             provide fibre to the buildings. This network has a 5 gigabit international gateway with
             direct links to the United States, Europe, and Japan, as well as the other nations in
             Southeast Asia.
            The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC), a one-stop shop created to manage
             and market the MSC. The MDC’s mission is to create the best environment in the world
             for private sector companies to pursue multimedia and to facilitate their investment in the
             MSC.
        Seven flagship applications were introduced in 1997, as part of the overall plan to develop the
        MSC and to jumpstart the country’s leapfrogging into the ICT Age. One of the flagship
        applications is the ICT-enabled Smart School. The others are Electronic Government,
        Telemedicine (later renamed Telehealth), Multipurpose Card, Research and Development


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        Clusters, Worldwide Manufacturing Web, and Borderless Marketing.
        A long-term vision, usually referred to as “Vision 2020”, was also formulated. This vision
        calls for sustained, productivity-driven growth, which will be achievable only with a
        technologically literate, critically thinking workforce prepared to participate fully in the
        global economy of the 21st century.
        The Ministry of Education sees ICT as a means, not an end in itself. As such, all efforts are
        concentrated on developing new media as tools in the service of richer curricula, enhanced
        pedagogies, more effective organisational structures in schools, stronger links between
        schools and society, and the empowerment of disenfranchised learners.
        The Ministry believes that properly designed and implemented computing and
        communications have the potential to revolutionise education and improve learning as
        profoundly as information technology has transformed medicine, finance, manufacturing, and
        numerous other sectors of society. Technology is not seen as a “vitamin” whose mere
        presence in schools can catalyse better educational outcomes. Technology is also not seen as
        simply another subject in the curriculum, suited primarily for teaching students to use tools
        they may encounter as adults.
    c. Lessons Learned:
            Ensure that the ICT in Education Programme is part of the national development plan and
             national budget.
            Ensure that the ICT in Education Programme is part of the national ICT policy and master
             plan.
            Ensure that the ICT in Education Programme is in line with the country’s educational
             philosophy, goals, and objectives.
            Ensure that ICT is used as an enabler in education, not as a driver.


2. National ICT policy and information infrastructure support
    a. Issue: The need for a national ICT policy, planned initiatives, and the creation of the
       necessary information infrastructure
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        In 1996, the first computer system was implemented. Since then, the Government has
        introduced various initiatives to facilitate the greater adoption and diffusion of ICT to
        improve capacities in every field of business, industry, education, and life in general. These
        measures include the enhancement of education and training programmes, provision of an
        environment conducive to the development of ICT, provision of incentives for
        computerisation and automation, and creation of venture capital funds. Currently, Malaysia is
        in full gear to steer the economy towards a knowledge-based one.
        Under the Eighth Malaysia Development Plan, a sum of RM5.2 billion has been set aside for
        the Digital Divide Programme which aims to reduce the digital gap between the urban and
        rural areas. The Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia is responsible for
        installing a telecommunications infrastructure for all remote schools, rural clinics and rural
        development programmes through a Universal Service Provision Programme before 2005.
        A national broadband master plan to enable the country to have a 50% peneration rate for
        broadband services by the year 2007 has also been implemented. Currently, broadband
        penetration in Malaysia is below 10% with only 30,000 users as of middle of 2003. The
        government sees enhanced networking as vital for the e-learning initiative undertaken by the
        government to accelerate the growth of education in the country and in ensuring that the
        country makes the transition towards becoming a knowledge-based society.



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        A SchoolNet project aimed at providing internet broadband facilities to all 10,000 primary
        and secondary schools in the country is being implemented. At present, the first phase of the
        project involving 110 schools in Sabah and another 110 schools in Sarawak has been
        completed. Steps are underway to hand over the pilot schools to the Ministry of Education,
        and to merge these 220 schools into the broader SchoolNet Project.
    c. Lessons Learned:
            Ensure that the national ICT policy is clearly translated into well-planned initiatives in
             every field of business, industry, education, and life in general.
            Ensure that the development of the necessary technology infrastructure is in pace with the
             ICT in Education Programme


3. Economic and social/cultural context
    a. Issue: The need to ensure that the Smart School Project addresses the objectives of the
       Ministry of Education
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The objectives of the Ministry of Education are as follows:
                To develop a loyal and united Malaysian nation
                To produce citizens who believe in God, posses high moral standards, knowledge,
                 competence, and who are capable of achieving high personal well-being
                To develop human resources for national development
                To provide access to education to all citizens of Malaysia
        When fully developed, the Malaysian Smart School will have the following qualities:
                A philosophy that says all students can learn if taught, coupled with high expectations
                 for all students
                A broad curriculum that considers the different capabilities and needs of all students
                A school climate that is conducive to learning
                An on-going assessment that supports good instruction
                Strong and professional principals and teachers
                A high level of parent and community involvement and support
    c. Lessons Learned:
            Ensure that the ICT in education projects are in line with the national educational
             philosophy, goals, and objectives




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Component 2: Policy and Regulatory Environment (National, sub-national, school levels)


1. Policy development
    a. Issue: The need for the Ministry of Education to support Malaysia’s ICT master plan and to
       keep in line with the country’s drive to fulfil Vision 2020.
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Ministry of Education formalised a mission statement in 1995, which reflects the
        Ministry’s commitment towards achieving the goals of Vision 2020: “To develop a world clas
        quality education system which will realise the full potential of the individual and fulfill the
        aspirations of the Malaysian nation”.
        The same commitment is also indicated in the National Philosophy of Education which calls
        for “developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to
        produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically balanced
        and harmonious.”
        The concept of ICT in education, as seen by the Ministry of Education, includes systems that
        enable information gathering, management, manipulation, access, and communication in
        various forms. The Ministry has formulated three main policies for ICT in education.
        The first policy is that of ICT for all students, meaning that ICT is used as an enabler to
        reduce the digital gap between the schools.
        The second policy emphasises the role and function of ICT in education as a teaching and
        learning tool, as part of a subject, and as a subject by itself. Apart from using radio and
        television as a teaching and learning tool, this policy stresses the use of the computer for
        accessing information, communication, and as a productivity tool. ICT as part of a subject
        refers to the use of software (e.g. AutoCAD and SCAD) in subjects such as “Invention” and
        “Engineering Drawing.” ICT as a subject refers to the introduction of subjects such as
        “Information Technology” and “Computerisation”.
        The third policy emphasises using ICT to increase productivity, efficiency and effectiveness
        of the management system. ICT is used extensively to automate and mechanise work
        processes such as the processing of official forms, timetable generation, management of
        information systems, lesson planning, financial management, and the maintenance of
        inventories.
        Although the ICT Policy for Education was not formulated together with the Smart School
        Project, there is harmony between the Policy and the intent of the Smart School.
    c. Lessons Learned:
            Ensure that a national ICT Policy for Education is formulated
            Ensure that any ICT project in education is in line with the national policy in order to
             facilitate acceptance by all key stakeholders in the Ministry


2. Transforming ICT for education policy into action
    a. Issue: The need to transform the policy for ICT in Education into implementable projects
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        In the early part of 1996, the Ministry of Education was involved in intense discussion about
        the concept and principles of the Malaysian Smart School. The general consensus at that time
        was that the Malaysian educational system needed to be reinvented to enable students to
        become lifelong learners, and to be able to practise self-paced, self-accessed, and self-directed



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        learning. By late 1996, the Smart School had become one of the Multimedia Super Corridor’s
        flagship applications.
        The Malaysian Smart School was launched in July 1997 by the Prime Minister as one of the
        Multimedia Super Corridor’s Flagship Applications. The aim was to capitalise on leading-
        edge technologies and the rapid deployment of the MSC’s infrastructure to jumpstart
        deployment of enabling technology to schools. This was done by creating a group of pilot
        schools in 1999 that would serve as the nucleus for the eventual nationwide roll-out of Smart
        School concepts, materials, skills and technologies.
        These Smart Schools were meant to help the country achieve the aims of the National
        Philosophy of Education as well as to foster the development of a workforce prepared to meet
        the challenges of the 21 st century. Transforming the educational system entails changing the
        culture and practices of Malaysia’s primary and secondary schools, moving away from
        memory-based learning designed for the average to an education that stimulates thinking,
        creativity, and caring for all students, caters to individual differences and learning styles, and
        is based on more equitable access.
        In January 1997, the Ministry of Education conceptualised the vision of the Malaysian Smart
        School in the document “Smart Schools in Malaysia: A Quantum Leap”. By July 1997, a
        blueprint describing the key components of the Smart School had been drawn up by a Joint
        Ministry – Industry task force. The Smart School Blueprint is a descriptive document, meant
        to be open to evolutionary refinement, including advances in pedagogy and improvements in
        ICT.
         In addition, the task force also produced an Implementation Plan, with an implementation
        strategy and roadmap for a three-year pilot project to be followed by a broad roll-out to the
        rest of the country.
        Instead of the normal tender process, a “Concept Requests for Proposals (CRFP) Process”
        was used to enable the ICT industry to propose innovative solutions to deliver the benefits
        envisioned by the Ministry of Education.
        Five CRFP documents were produced that defined the Smart School Pilot Project
        requirements. They outlined the high-level functional requirements expected from the private
        sector’s proposals. They did not explicitly specify platforms, but prescribed a framework
        built around broadly detailed standards and policies, in order to allow responding
        organisations the flexibility to innovate and create the best solutions to deliver the benefits
        envisioned by the Ministry of Education.
        Funding for the Smart School Pilot Project was provided by the Federal Government. The
        Pilot Project was launched in 1999. The Pilot Project test-bedded the Smart School Integrated
        Solution, which comprises the following main components:
            Browser-based Teaching-Learning Materials (and related print materials) for Bahasa
             Melayu, English Language, Science and Mathematics
            A computerised Smart School Management System
            A Smart School Technology Infrastructure involving the use of IT and non-IT equipment,
             Local Area Networks for the pilot schools, and a virtual private network that connects the
             pilot schools, the Ministry’s Data Centre and the Ministry’s Help Desk
            Support services in the form of a centralised Help Desk, and service centres throughout
             the country to provide maintenance and support
            Specialised services such as systems integration, project management, business process
             reengineering, and change management.
        The Smart School Pilot Project ended in December 2002, with 87 networked schools (83
        secondary and 4 primary) in all states in the country, 1494 courseware titles for Bahasa


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        Melayu, English Language, Science, Mathematics, a computerised and integrated Smart
        School Management System, a Help Desk, and a Data Centre, and trained administrators,
        teachers and IT coordinators from all the Pilot Schools.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that ICT in education policies are translated into implementable projects
            Ensure that innovative processes and procedures are considered along with traditional
             ones in the implementation of ICT in education projects
            Ensure that existing Government procurement and legal procedures are amended to allow
             for innovative procedures to enable the Government to get the best solutions from the ICT
             industry


3. Legal and regulatory framework dealing with the use of ICT in Education including
   censorship)
    a. Issue: The need to formulate rules for the use of ICT in Education
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        In order to promote the use of the internet for education, business and entertainment, the
        Government of Malaysia decided that there would be no censorship of the internet. Instead,
        education would be the main tool to prevent misuse and abuse of the internet.
        In the Smart School Pilot Project, an ICT Security Policies and Procedures document was
        introduced to all the Pilot Schools as part of the pilot. The document established rules and
        regulations regarding security procedures for all users in the schools.
        In 1997, laws relating to the use of ICT, namely the Digital Signature Act 1997, Copyright
        Act 1987 (Amendments), Computer Crimes Act 1997, and Telemedicine Act 1997 were
        passed by the Malaysian Parliament.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that school-based ICT security policies and procedures are developed before
             implementing ICT projects in schools
            Ensure that the schools are made aware of the ICT security policies and procedures before
             the technology infrastructure and applications software are installed in the schools.


4. Macroeconomic impact of ICT in education including its impact on social development and
   poverty alleviation.
    a. Issue: The need to ensure that the objectives of the Smart School Project are in line with the
       national goals of social development
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        One of the functions of the Ministry of Education is to provide equal access to quality
        education to every child, irrespective of background, religion or ethnicity. Compulsory
        primary school education was introduced in 2002 to ensure that all children are assured of at
        least six years of education.
        In developing the Smart School Conceptual Model, the Smart School Task Force used the the
        Malaysian National Philosophy of Education as the basis for every element of the Smart
        School Conceptual Model: “Education in Malaysia is an on-going effort towards further
        developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce
        individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and
        harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Such an effort is designed to


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        produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral
        standards, and who are responsible and capable of achieving high levels of personal well-
        being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the
        society and the nation at large.”
        The Smart School Task Force formulated the following objectives for the Smart School:
            To produce a thinking and technology-literate workforce
            To democratise education
            To increase participation of stakeholders
            To provide all-round development of the individual, intellectually, physically,
             emotionally, and spiritually
            To provide opportunities to enhance individual strengths and abilities
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that the ICT in education projects are in line with the national policy on social
             development.


5. Inter-ministerial collaboration/dialogue
    a. Issue: The need to ensure that the Smart School Project involves various ministries
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        In the case of the Multimedia Super Corridor, an International Advisory Panel (IAP)
        comprising international leaders in the ICT industry was formed to help steer the growth of
        the MSC. The IAP is chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
        At the national level, the MSC Implementation Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, meets
        on a regular basis to coordinate the development of the MSC. The members include the
        Cabinet Ministers, and senior officers from Ministries involved in the MSC, and
        representatives from the central agencies such as the Treasury, Public Services Department,
        and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
        The coordination of the Flagship Applications is handled by the MSC Flagship Coordination
        Committee, co-chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government (the top civil servant in the
        country) and the Chairman of the Multimedia Development Corporation. The members
        include the Secretaries-General and Directors-General of all Ministries involved in the
        Flagship Applications.
        When the Multimedia Super Corridor Flagship Applications were launched in 1997, the roles
        of the various agencies involved were not clearly defined. However, in general policy terms,
        the following roles were designated:
            The lead agency or agencies of a Flagship Application. In the case of the Smart School,
             the lead agency was clearly the Ministry of Education.
            The coordinator of the MSC Flagship Applications, namely, the Multimedia Development
             Corporation.
            The company or consortium shortlisted by the lead agency to deliver the solution
             requested through the Concept Requests for Proposals Process.
            All the central agencies involved in procurement and legal aspects, such as the Treasury
             and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
        In 1999, the Multimedia Development Corporation invited all government agencies and
        consortia involved in the MSC to help clarify and delineate roles and responsibilities. As a


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        result of this exercise, many of the implementation problems identified by the lead agencies
        and the consortia, such as manpower shortage, unclear government procedures and processes,
        and cross-flagship integration requirements were resolved by the central agencies.
        In the implementation of the Smart School Pilot Project, the following committees were set
        up to monitor and guide the progress of the Pilot Project:
            The Ministry of Education Smart School Steering Committee, chaired by the Secretary-
             General of Education. The members include all Heads of Departments and Divisions in
             the Ministry, and representatives from the central agencies and the Multimedia
             Development Corporation.
            The Smart School Pilot Project Steering Committee, chaired by the Deputy Director-
             General of Education. This committee ceased to function when the Pilot Project was
             completed in December 2002. The members included the Pilot Project Director, senior
             officers from the Pilot Project Team, the Ministry’s Legal Adviser, a representative from
             the Ministry’s Supply, Privatisation and Development Division, a representative from the
             Treasury, a representative from the Multimedia Development Corporation, and
             representatives from the senior management of the shortlisted consortium.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that a hands-on steering committee is appointed for any ICT in Education project
            Ensure that this steering committee is empowered to resolve issues and problems quickly
             and efficiently
            Ensure that the organizational structure and the line of authority is clearly stated


6. Advocacy and obtaining support of policy makers and other stakeholders/heads of the
   various sections or bureaus of the MOE
    a. Issue: The need to keep all heads of Departments and Divisions of the Ministry of Education
       informed and involved in the Smart School Project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        At the start of the Smart School Project, the then Minister of Education, the Director-General
        of Education and the Secretary-General of Education were enthusiastic supporters. At that
        time, the Smart School Steering Committee had a tripartite chairmanship, namely the
        Director-General of Education, the Secretary-General of Education, and the Chairman of the
        Multimedia Development Corporation. Regular meetings were also chaired by the Minister
        of Education.
        When the Minister was transferred to another Ministry, and when the Director-General
        retired, the Smart School Project lost two champions. The membership of the Smart School
        Steering Committee also kept changing when members retired or were transferred. Decisions
        made at steering committee meetings were often not brought to the attention of the
        replacements.
        As part of the Smart School Master Roll-out Plan, meetings involving all key stakeholders in
        the Ministry will be held on a regular basis.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that all decisions made or amended by the highest level steering committee at the
             Ministry be compiled and regularly disseminated to all members of the committee as
             reminders
            Ensure on-going change management activities at all levels to facilitate continuity and a
             common understanding at all stages of the project


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Component 3: Management and Financing (national, sub-national, school levels)


1. Resources at ministry level and at school level needed to make ICT programmes work
    a. Issue: The need to provide sufficient resources to ensure the success of the Smart School
       Project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        Funding for the Smart School Project was provided by the Government. An allocation of
        RM400 million was made for the Pilot Project, of which RM100 million was for the training
        of administrators and teachers in the Smart School Concept, and RM300 million was for the
        implementation of the Smart School Integrated Solution in 87 schools under the Smart School
        Pilot Project Agreement signed between the Government and the shortlisted consortium.
        At the Ministry level, thirty-seven officers, including a Project Director and a Project
        Manager, were assigned to a dedicated Smart School Pilot Project Team to manage and
        monitor the implementation of the Pilot Project.
        The Smart School curriculum was developed by the Ministry’s Curriculum Development
        Centre. Training of school administrators was undertaken by the Aminuddin Baki Insitute,
        the Ministry’s staff development centre. In-service and pre-service training of teachers was
        conducted by the Ministry’s Teacher Education Division.
        The Smart School Integrated Solution comprises the following components:
            Smart School Integrated Solution (SSIS) Components                         Cost (RM)
            Teaching-Learning Materials (Bahasa Melayu, English Language, Science,     92,443,742
            and Mathematics)
            Smart School Management System                                             31,366,872
            Technology Infrastructure (IT and non-IT equipment, Local Area Network,    65,921,874
            Wide Area Network, communications)
            Training in the use of the various components of the SSIS                   2,113,380
            Support services (Help Desk, preventive maintenance and corrective         17,851,177
            maintenance)
            Project Management, Business Process Reengineering, Systems Integration    90,302,955
            TOTAL                                                                     300,000,000


        Initially, the State Education Departments did not make specific financial allocations for the
        Pilot Schools in their states, but utilised available funds. The Pilot Project Team helped out
        by requesting for specific allocations to be set aside for the states to use, for example, for
        replacing equipment not covered by the Smart School Pilot Project Agreement and for
        improving the wiring and lightning detectors in the Pilot Schools.
        As the Pilot Project proceeded, the Ministry’s Finance Division assigned special status to all
        the Pilot Schools, thereby allowing them a certain level of autonomy in school expenditure.
    c. Lessons learned:
              Ensure the site readiness of all schools, in terms of manpower, funds, and physical
               infrastructure
              Ensure that all schools be given a certain level of autonomy in school expenditure to
               facilitate implementation of ICT projects, especially for improving the physical



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             infrastructure of the school and for replacement of damaged equipment not covered by
             warranty
            Ensure that all state education departments or departments responsible for overseeing the
             schools be informed of possible extra financial requirements that may not be obvious in
             the beginning of the project
            Ensure that training of pre-service and in-service training of teachers be constantly
             monitored to keep such training in line with the ever-changing ICT environment


2. Resource/financial mobilization from within, from other donor agencies and private sector
    a. Issue: The need to mobilise resources for the Smart School Project from outside the
       Government
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The original intention of the MSC Flagship initiative was to encourage creative funding
        models from the private sector. Several models, including “Build-Operate-Transfer”, “Build-
        Operate-Own”, “Build-Operate-Jointly Own”, were discussed during negotiations between
        the Government and the shortlisted consortium.
        In the case of the Smart School Project, negotiations were protracted because of two areas of
        contention, namely the consortium’s corporate structure and the ownership of the Intellectual
        Property Rights (IPR) to the Smart School Integrated Solution. The Government insisted on
        the consortium forming a joint venture company, or agreeing to joint and several liability
        between members of the consortium. The Government also insisted that the IPR to the Smart
        School Integrated Solution be passed over to the Government on completion of the Pilot
        Project.
        The Government finally settled for a straight-forward direct purchase model. The seven local
        members of the consortium were made to form a joint venture company, with the three
        multinational companies becoming sub-contractors to the joint venture company. The IPR to
        the Smart School Integrated Solution and all its components would pass to the Government
        on the Government’s acceptance of the Solution. As a result, the cost of the Pilot Project
        became considerably higher.
        In the original Smart School Implementation Plan, the schools would be empowered to source
        their own funds and expertise to “smartize” their schools. The Ministry of Education would
        act as architect and motivator by providing guidelines to help schools become Smart Schools.
        Now that the Pilot Project has ended, there are already indications that many of the non-Pilot
        Schools are able to become Smart Schools on their own initiative. Some schools have
        obtained support from various federal and state departments, while others have relied on
        patronage from the private sector (e.g. banks and corporate citizens). The Parent-Teacher
        Associations of many schools have also contributed enough hardware to enable their schools
        to apply to the Ministry for the installation of the Smart School Applications Software.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that the Government officers involved in ICT projects are knowledgeable about
             ICT trends and developments, and are able to differentiate between “no risk to the
             Government” and “acceptable risk to the Government”
            Ensure that clear guidelines are given to schools to empower them to source for funds and
             expertise on their own, and still adhere to Ministry rules and regulations




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3. Strategy to ensure sustainability
    a. Issue: The need to plan for sustainability of the Smart School Project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Smart School Project uses a variety of strategies in terms of funding. The pilot project
        was implemented with federal funds, and the phased roll-out of the Smart School Integrated
        Solution will also use federal funds.
        However, it was originally planned that schools will be empowered to become smart schools
        using their own funds and expertise. Guidelines to enable schools to proceed with
        “smartization” have been prepared and will be disseminated to all State Education
        Departments.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that guidelines to empower schools to source their own funds and expertise be
             prepared and disseminated early, so that schools with the means can proceed on their own
             initiative while complying with existing rules and regulations


4. Harmonizing ICT in Education programme with other ICT and/or Education
   initiatives/projects
    a. Issue: The need to coordinate the Smart School Project with other ICT in Education projects
       in the country
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        Currently, educational programmes involving ICT include the Smart School Project, the
        teaching of Science and Mathematics in English, the school computerisation programme, and
        the Universal Service Provision Project. All these activities are part of the Ministry of
        Education’s function to “provide equal access to quality education to every child, irrespective
        of background, religion or ethnicity”.
        The Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English Programme was introduced in 2002 and
        implemented in 2003 in all the schools in the country. The Government recognised that
        English has become the language of the internet, and that students need to be able to access
        materials from the internet competently in order to keep up with the pace of development in
        Science and Technology. To ensure that lessons are interesting, and that students do not lose
        out because of language proficiency, teachers are provided with specially designed teaching
        courseware, laptops, and LCD screens and projectors.
        The School Computerisation Programme is meant to provide every school with one to three
        computer laboratories (20 computers per lab), depending on the population of the school.
        When completed, this programme would mean that every school would be able to run ICT
        literacy classes for their students.
        The Universal Service Provision Project is another project that will help bridge the digital gap
        between the rural and urban schools. The pilot project, involving 220 schools in Sabah and
        Sarawak, involved the provision of basic infrastructure and infostructure including electricity,
        telephone lines and internet access. Computers, telephones and other related equipment were
        also provided to the pilot schools. The project is expected to be expanded into a nationwide
        SchoolNet for all the 10,000 schools in the country.
        All these major projects are included in the Smart School Master Roll-out Plan. In addition,
        current trends involving Open Source Software, Open Standards, the use of computer aids
        such as PDAs, computing tablets, mobile phones, internet access by means of satellite and
        microwave are also given due consideration.




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        The Master Roll-out Plan also considers competency certification offered by several major
        ICT players such as Intel and Microsoft in the training of teachers. Several Ministry officers
        and teachers have been trained by Intel and Microsoft. An initial batch of 25 heads of Pilot
        Smart Schools have been selected for competency training under the “International Computer
        Driving Licence” scheme.
        It is expected that as more ICT training projects are brought to the knowledge of the Ministry
        of Education, these projects will be incorporated into the overall teacher training programme.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that there is coordination between the various ICT in education projects, or ensure
             that information about the various ICT in education projects is shared so as to avoid
             duplication of work and dilution of funds
            Ensure that the officers responsible for teacher training actively seek out different ICT
             training schemes so that the different needs of teachers can be met
            Ensure that training programmes be planned for the long-term instead of just for the
             short-term


5. Leadership and management of ICT in Education programmes
    a. Issue: The need to ensure champions for the Smart School Project at all levels
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The status of the Smart School Project as an MSC Flagship Application ensures that the
        Project has the attention of the Prime Minister himself.
        At the Ministry level, the Minister is kept informed on a regular basis about the progress of
        the Project. The Secretary-General of Education, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Smart
        School Steering Committee, is one of the champions of the Smart School. The Director of the
        Ministry’s Educational Technology Division, who was the Project Director during the Pilot
        Project Phase, is another champion. The Deputy Director of the Educational Technology
        Division, who is dedicated to the Development of Smart Education, is yet another champion
        at the operational level.
        At the state level, the Deputy Director of the State Education Department (or the highest
        ranking officer after the Director) is the Head of the Smart School Strategic Support Team.
        His deputy is the Principal Assistant Director, the head of the State Education Resource
        Centre. Members of the Strategic Support Team are derived from the State Education
        Departments and the State Education Resource Centres. The State Strategic Support Teams
        meet with the Ministry’s Smart School Team on a regular basis.
        At school level, the head of the school is the prime change motivator and change manager.
        He heads the school change management team and is responsible for developing short-term
        and long-term change management plans and activities for all key stakeholders in the school.
        The school heads, senior assistants (deputy school heads), resource teachers for Bahasa
        Melayu, English Language, Science and Mathematics, School IT Coordinators, and School IT
        Technicians meet at least once a year at change management coordination meetings
        conducted by the Smart School Team.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that champions at all levels are identified and appointed officially
            Ensure that the roles and responsibilities of these champions are clearly stated and made
             known to anything who wishes to accept the responsibility




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            Ensure that all departments at the various levels (Ministry, state, district) have ICT
             champions


6. Dichotomy between educators and technologists
    a. Issue: The need for collaboration between educators and technologists
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Smart School Conceptual Blueprint was written by a joint Ministry – Industry Task
        Force, comprising Ministry of Education officers from the various Divisions (e.g. Curriculum
        Development Centre, Teacher Education Division, Examinations Syndicate, Educational
        Technology Division) and representatives from the leading ICT companies in the country
        (e.g. Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Sun Microsystems).
        The Smart School Pilot Project Team was made up of mostly educators, but several systems
        analysts were included to help monitor the technology infrastructure and support services
        components of the Smart School Integrated Solution. The Smart School Development Team,
        which will implement the roll-out of the Smart School, also has a mix of educators and
        systems analysts.
        At the school level, the School IT Coordinator should be a teacher with ICT experience, but
        the Ministry has an on-going programme to upgrade the ICT competency, whenever
        necessary. The School IT Coordinator is assisted by an IT Technician who is not an educator.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that all ICT projects in education are conceptualised by a mixed group of
             educators and ICT experts so that educators can capitalise on existing or leading-age
             technology, and technologist are aware of the benefits that educators want emplaced in
             the classroom and the school
            Ensure that ICT in education projects are education-driven and not technology-driven
            Ensure that ICT in education projects are managed by a team comprising educators and
             technologists




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Component 4: ICT in Schools – Policy, Visions and Strategies


1. How to create school ICT vision/plans
    a. Issue: The need for school-based policies, visions and plans
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        All the Pilot Schools were given the ICT Security Policies and Procedures document
        developed by the consortium as part of the Smart School Integrated Solution. It took a while
        to get the staff and students of the Pilot Schools to comply with the policies and procedures.
        In the beginning, the Smart School Pilot Project was perceived as “just another Ministry pilot
        project” by the Pilot Schools. None of the Pilot School Heads planned any formal or non-
        formal change management programme for the staff and students. The Smart School Pilot
        Project Team had to ask the schools to develop their own change management plans, with
        activities for in-house training, dissemination of information, and coordination meetings.
        These change management plans were meant to be incorporated into the schools’ existing
        vision, mission and master plan.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that all schools plan change management programmes for their staff and students,
             preferably even before the installation of hardware or software.
            Ensure that the heads of schools fulfil their roles as key change managers.
            Ensure that each school has a change management team with clearly delineated roles and
             responsibilities.


2. Supporting policies that facilitate uptake of ICT in schools
    a. Issue: The need to ensure the use of ICT in schools as soon as the Smart School Project was
       initiated in the schools
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The protracted negotiations over the formalisation of the Smart School Pilot Project
        Agreement between 1997 – 1999 meant that the start of the Pilot Project was delayed for
        almost a year.
        The Ministry decided to proceed with the first phase of the Pilot Project by installing the
        hardware, systems software, setting up the Local Area Networks for the schools, as well as
        the setting up the Wide Area Network to connect up the schools to the Ministry’s Data Centre
        and Help Desk. Under this arrangement, the Smart School Applications Software would be
        given about two years’ development and testing time.
        Under the terms and conditions of the Smart School Pilot Project Agreement, access to the
        internet was permitted but the use of third party software not supplied under the Smart School
        Integrated Solution was not allowed. The ruling was necessary to preserve the school
        configuration for regular testing and the eventual installation of the Smart School
        Applications Software that was being developed.
        Although the Pilot Schools were informed of their role in the Smart School Pilot Project,
        several factors contributed to the lack of usage of the Smart School Integrated Solution, for
        example, the restricted use of the hardware, the lag time between the installation of the
        hardware and the Applications Software, the lag time between the installation of the
        Applications Software and the training sessions.



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    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that the hardware, systems software, applications software and the network are
             installed at the same time.
            Ensure that training is carried out as soon as the installation of the technology
             infrastructure and applications software has been accomplished
            Ensure that there is a clear contingency plan with specific activities for the schools should
             there be a lag time between the installation of any component of the ICT solution


3. Management of ICT resources in schools: need for SWOT analysis
    a. Issue: The need for schools to manage resources by conducting analysis of their strengths,
       weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        Part of the change management exercise conducted by the Smart School Pilot Project Team
        was to get the Pilot School Heads to analyse their schools’ strengths, weaknesses, priorities,
        available skills, and available resources.
        This information together with the organisational structure of the schools and the schools’
        change management plans were documented and monitored by the Smart School Pilot Project
        Team with the help of the consortium. However, on-site monitoring of the schools’
        implementation and adherence to their change management plans indicated poor compliance.
        Most of the schools cited lack of leadership, time, and resources as excuses for not carrying
        out change management activities.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that schools analyse their strengths, weaknesses, priorities, available skills and
             available resources
            Ensure that schools apply the results of their analyses to optimise the use of their
             resources
            Ensure that schools implement their change management plans


4. Translation of laws into school-level acceptable use policies
    a. Issue: The need to translate laws relating to the use of ICT into school-level rules and
       regulations
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        One of the deliverables of the Smart School Integrated Solution was a set of school-level ICT
        policies and procedures. The Smart School Pilot Project Team reviewed the polices and
        procedures to ensure that they were in line with existing Ministry rules and regulations.
        The Team also submitted the policies and procedures to the central agency responsible for the
        all matters relating to the use of ICT in the country, i.e. the Malaysian Administrative
        Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) in the Prime Minister’s
        Department for their comments.
        The critical security policies introduced covered authentication and passwords, backup
        procedures, installation of firewalls, and the use of only licensed software.
        The heads of the Pilot Schools and the School IT Coordinators were the first school personnel
        to be exposed to the policies and procedures. They were given guidelines on in-house
        training, but enforcement of the ICT policies and procedures at the school-level has not been



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        easy. Constant configuration audits, remote and on-site monitoring carried out by the Smart
        School Pilot Project Team indicated a high level of non-compliance with the policies and
        procedures.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that laws relating to the use of ICT be translated into school-level rules and
             regulations
            Ensure training and constant monitoring to help school staff and students internalise and
             obey these school-level rules and regulations


5. Parents and community involvement
    a. Issue: The need to involve parents and the community in the Smart School Project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        One of the deliverables of the Smart School Integrated Solution was a functionality in the
        computerised Smart School Management System that enables parents to remotely access their
        own children’s records in the school in order to keep track of their children’s progress in
        school. However, the functionality was only completed in late 2002, and is still not fully
        utilised by those parents who have internet access.
        The Pilot Schools were encouraged to include parents and the community in their change
        management activities. Many of the Pilot Schools had active Parent-Teacher Associations
        who took a keen interest in the development of the Smart School Project, and helped to
        sponsor trips to the Multimedia Development Corporation for an inside view of the workings
        of the Multimedia Super Corridor. Other PTAs sponsored talks by ICT personnel, and
        facilitate the schools’ participation in ICT-related competitions.
        The Smart School Pilot Project Team also organised a national seminar for representatives of
        PTAs from non-Pilot Schools as part of the Smart School Outreach Programme. In addition,
        members of the Team gave talks and presented papers at seminars, conventions, and meetings
        to help disseminate information about the Smart School to the public at large.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that activities to involve parents and the community are planned and executed.
            Ensure that parents and the community are clear about the degree and type of
             involvement schools require from them




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Component 5: Technology Infrastructure and Connectivity




1. Choice and mode of deployment of technologies based on geography, resource constraints,
   types of schools, etc.
    a. Issue: The need to involve schools at all levels in the Smart School Project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        In the original Smart School Implementation Plan launched in 1997, the Pilot Smart Schools
        were meant to represent the different types of schools in Malaysia. The list was revised in
        1999 to involve mostly existing secondary schools. Only five primary schools were chosen,
        and they were schools that had not been constructed yet.
        By the end of the Pilot Project, only 83 secondary schools (including two newly constructed
        schools) and four primary schools (all newly constructed schools) were included. The other
        three schools (one primary and two secondary, all newly constructed) did not meet the
        contractual deadline for inclusion.
        Each of the fifteen states in Malaysia were allocated at least two Pilot Schools. Those states
        with a larger student population were allocated more Pilot Schools. The list included urban,
        semi-urban and rural schools.
        Three models of technology were employed in the Pilot Project. Level B+ and Level A
        technology were employed in only urban schools. The table below summarises the different
        technology models employed in the Pilot Project.
            Level B            Level B+           Level A (Full      Data Centre        Help Desk
            (Laboratory        (Limited           Classroom
            Model)             Classroom          Model)
                               Model)
            37 computers       81 computers       520 computers      10 computers       13 computers
            2 notebooks        2 notebooks        5 notebooks        1 notebook         2 notebooks
            3 servers          3 servers          6 servers          3 servers          5 servers
            (communications,   (communications,   (communications,   (communications,   (communications,
            databases,         databases,         databases,         databases,         databases,
            applications)      applications)      applications)      applications)      applications)
            Fast Ethernet      Fast Ethernet      Fast Ethernet      COINS leased       COINS leased
            backbone (100      backbone (100      backbone (100      line (2 Mbps)      line (2 Mbps)
            baseT) with        baseT) with        baseT) with
            128/64 kbps        128/64 kbps        512/256 kbps
            leased line        leased line        leased line


    c. Lessons learned:
             Ensure that different types of schools are included in ICT in Education projects


2. Connectivity options/alternatives
    a. Issue: The need to ensure connectivity for all the installation sites (schools, Data Centre, and
       the Help Desk) in the Smart School Pilot Project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:




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        Each Pilot School was provided its own Local Area Network through a structured cabling
        system. The vertical cabling used fibre optics and UTP, while the horizontal cabling used
        UTP.
        All 87 Pilot Schools, the Ministry’s Data Centre and Help Desk were connected in a Smart
        School Virtual Private Network provided by the Corporate Information Superhighway or
        COINS. Every computer in the Smart School System is internet-enabled and connected to the
        Ministry’s Virtual Private Network.
        The bandwidths chosen for the different models of technology are shown in the table below.
        These bandwidths were based on financial constraints at the time. During the Pilot Project, it
        was evident that a bandwidth of 128/64 kbps for the Level B and Level B+ Pilot Schools was
        insufficient to support the Smart School Applications Software and communications
        requirements.
            Level B              Level B+           Level A (Full        Data Centre         Help Desk
            (Laboratory          (Limited           Classroom
            Model)               Classroom          Model)
                                 Model)
            Fast Ethernet        Fast Ethernet      Fast Ethernet        COINS leased        COINS leased
            backbone (100        backbone (100      backbone (100        line (2 Mbps)       line (2 Mbps)
            baseT) with          baseT) with        baseT) with
            128/64 kbps          128/64 kbps        512/256 kbps
            leased line          leased line        leased line


    c. Lessons learned:
              Ensure that the bandwidth is able to support the kind of multimedia applications,
               computing and communications that would be included in the ICT project


3. Infrastructure that supports and delivers teaching and learning
    a. Issue: The need for a technology infrastructure that supports and delivers teaching and
       learning
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        Teaching and Learning Materials for Bahasa Melayu, English Language, Science and
        Mathematics, in the form of 1494 browser-based courseware, printed teacher’s guides, student
        worksheets, and exemplar lesson plans were developed for the Smart School Pilot Project.
        The following functionalities for the computerised Smart School Management System were
        also developed: School Profile, School Calendar, Staff Management, Timetable, Co-
        curriculum Management, Attendance, Report Management, Curriculum Management,
        Electronic Lesson Planning, Assignment Management, Testing and Assessment Management,
        Student Profile, Central Server Applications, Local Area Network Messaging, Web
        Applications, E-mail, Internet, Counselling, Library Management, Bulletin Board, External
        Resources Management, Collaboration, Human Resources Management, Facilities
        Management, Financial Management, Hostel Management, Analyser.
        The number of computers supplied to the Pilot Schools is given in the table below:
            Level B                           Level B+                          Level A (Full Classroom
            (Laboratory Model)                (Limited Classroom Model)         Model)
            37 computers                      81 computers                      520 computers
            (21 computers in a computer       (15 classrooms and science        (4 computer labs with 35
            lab, the other computers in the   labs with 6 computers each, the   computers each, 40 classrooms
            resource centre and the           other computers in the resource   with 7 computers each, science
            administrative office)            centre and the administrative     labs with 7 computers each, the
                                              office)                           other computers in the resource


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            Level B                        Level B+                      Level A (Full Classroom
            (Laboratory Model)             (Limited Classroom Model)     Model)
                                                                         centre, the teachers’ room, and
                                                                         the adminstrative office)
            2 notebooks                    2 notebooks                   5 notebooks


        In the B Level Pilot Schools where only one computer laboratory with 21 computers was
        provided, the general consensus is that there is not enough access to the browser-based
        courseware supplied. Sometimes, the teacher has to resort to using the courseware in stand-
        alone CD-ROMs. This means that the students’ progress cannot be monitored and tracked on
        the Smart School Management System.
        Although the ideal techology model would appear to be the Level A model, the cost of rolling
        out this model to all the schools in the country is expected to be prohibitive. The Smart
        School Roll-out Master Plan also has to take into consideration other ICT in Education
        initiatives of the Government. For example, the School Computerisation Programme will
        provide every school in the country with only one - three computer laboratories, and the
        Universal Service Provision Project will only provide internet access with minimal
        equipment.
        The Smart School Development Team is working on how best to optimise the use of the
        Smart School Applications Software (courseware and school management system) with the
        limited hardware. Some initial experiments include the use of portable hard drives to store
        the courseware, and the conversion of many of the Smart School Management System
        functionalities to allow web-based access.
    c. Lessons learned:
             Ensure that a combination of online and offline resources are available to promote
              efficient delivery of teaching and learning
             Ensure that courseware is web-based, or, at the very least, browser-based
             Ensure that the school management system be web-based


4. Emerging technologies; dealing with rapid development of technologies
    a. Issue: The need to deal with the rapid development of Information and Communications
       technologies
    b. How and why was issue addressed:
        When the Smart School Pilot Project Agreement was being finalised in 1999, the technologies
        picked were not all leading edge technologies, but they were the ones deemed appropriate for
        the job. The specifications of the ICT and non-ICT equipment, the courseware, the systems
        software, and the network were up-to-date at the time the Agreement was formalised.
        By the time the Pilot Project ended in 2002, the specifications of hardware and software were
        no longer sufficient or up-to-date. For instance, the Microsoft NT platform used for the
        development of the Smart School Management System has long been replaced by newer
        platforms.
        In planning the roll-out to the rest of the schools in the country, the Ministry is taking into
        account emerging technologies and will update the existing ones with new ones available.
        For example, a pilot project with the latest computing tablet is being carried out to determine
        whether this new technology will fulfil the educational needs of the Ministry. The Ministry is
        also looking into the use of Open Standards and Open Source Software, especially in the area
        of communications.
    c. Lessons learned:


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            Ensure that the technologies, including leading edge technologies, picked for any ICT
             project in education are appropriate for the purpose
            Ensure that ICT pilot projects do not take more than three years since the obsolescence
             rate of present-day technologies seem to be increasing


5. Donated computers
    a. Issue: The need to consider the place of donated computers in any ICT in education project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Smart School Pilot Project did not use donated computers. But, the roll-out will involve
        some schools that are using donated computers. The Ministry is preparing guidelines to help
        schools prepare themselves for “smartizing” and for using existing equipment and software.
    c. Lessons learned: Not applicable


6. Open source
    a. Issue: The need to consider the use of Open Source
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Smart School Pilot Project did not use Open Source Software, but the roll-out will take
        into consideration the Government’s directive to look into using Open Source Software,
        especially for communications and databases.
        The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) in
        the Prime Minister’s Department is coordinating the research and development activities on
        how best to use Open Source Software in Government departments.
    c. Lessons learned: Not applicable


7. Guidelines on information security (e.g., vs. viruses, hacking)
    a. Issue: The need for guidelines on information security
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        One of the deliverables of the Smart School Integrated Solution was a set of school-level ICT
        policies and procedures. The Smart School Pilot Project Team reviewed the polices and
        procedures to ensure that they were in line with existing Ministry rules and regulations.
        The Team also submitted the policies and procedures to the central agency responsible for the
        all matters relating to the use of ICT in the country, i.e. the Malaysian Administrative
        Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) in the Prime Minister’s
        Department for their comments.
        The critical security policies introduced covered authentication and passwords, backup
        procedures, installation of firewalls, and the use of only licensed software.
        The Data Centre and Help Desk personnel of the Smart School Development Team deal with
        problems of hacking and virus attacks on the Smart School System. At present, the Team
        uses the Norton Antivirus Software to help prevent virus attacks. Guidelines for dealing with
        hacking and virus attacks are provided in the Smart School ICT Policies and Procedures
        document which has been updated twice since it was introduced in 2000.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that guidelines on IT security are prepared and disseminated to all schools


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            Ensure that adequate on-site and remote monitoring is carried out to prevent breaches in
             security


8. Integrating of school management software with the LMS; but allows decoupling as well
    a. Issue: The need to automate the Smart School’s administrative processes, and provide
       linkages with the teaching and learning processes, assessment, as well as with external
       Ministry of Education databases
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        One of the major complaints of school teachers is the amount of time they have to spend on
        performing routine non-teaching tasks.
        The Smart School Pilot Project introduced a computerised Smart School Management System
        (SSMS) to the Pilot Schools. This integrated management software covers nine areas of
        school management, namely, Financial, Student Affairs, Educational Resources, External
        Resources, Human Resources, Facilities, School Governance, Security, and Technology.
        In addition to supporting the management functions of the Smart School, the SSMS also
        integrates the following systems: Teaching and Learning Materials, Assessment, IT Security
        Management, Network and System Management, User Support and Help Desk.
        The SSMS helps integrate the different functions by:
                Acting as a common user front-end for access to all Smart School applications
                Consolidating database information across multiple applications
                Allowing access between certain applications and other, possibly external, databases
                 and applications
                Allowing access to existing databases within the various Divisions in the Ministry of
                 Education
        The Ministry of Education wanted the Smart School Management System designed with the
        following features in mind: portability, flexibility, interoperability, scalability, useability, and
        manageability. However, the technology and financial constraints in 1999 forced the Ministry
        to compromise on all the features, and resulted in an integrated Smart School Management
        System with functionalities that could not be easily decoupled.
        Findings from the monitoring exercises carried out by the Ministry on all the Pilot Schools
        indicate that the Smart School Management System is not optimally used by most of the Pilot
        Schools. The common excuses given were that the system was not user-friendly, hangs
        easily, and did not simplify any of the routine tasks that teachers and other school staff
        members had to perform. In most cases, the Ministry discovered that the schools had not
        completed the data entry necessary to prime the system, and that the staff and students were
        not using the system correctly.
        Those Pilot Schools with complete data entry and adequate in-house training found that the
        system did support teaching and learning processes by managing resources and processes
        more efficiently and effectively.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that interoperability of a common school management system is maintained, but
             that decoupling is built into the system as well
            Ensure that adequate in-house training is conducted to help school staff and students
             cope with the change from manual processes to automated processes




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            Ensure that the school personnel responsible for priming the system have performed all
             the prerequisite processes before allowing the other staff members and students to use the
             system
            Ensure that all staff members and students are aware of the support services available to
             them in the event of a system failure or fault




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Component 6: Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Content Development




1. Integrating technology into the curriculum
    a. Issue: The need to integrate technology into the curriculum
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The second policy of the ICT in Education emphasises the role and function of ICT in
        education as a teaching and learning tool, as part of a subject, and as a subject by itself. Apart
        from using radio and television as a teaching and learning tool, this policy stresses the use of
        the computer for accessing information, communication, and as a productivity tool. ICT as
        part of a subject refers to the use of software (e.g. AutoCAD and SCAD) in subjects such as
        “Invention” and “Engineering Drawing.” ICT as a subject refers to the introduction of
        subjects such as “Information Technology” and “Computerisation”.
        Curriculum development is the responsibility of the Curriculum Development Centre, one of
        the Divisions of the Ministry of Education. The translation of the curriculum specifications to
        materials is undertaken by yet another Division, i.e. the Educational Technology Division.
        In the Smart School Pilot Project, Teaching and Learning Materials were developed for only
        four selected subjects, namely Bahasa Melayu, English Language, Science and Mathematics.
        The Materials developed were in the form of browser-based courseware, teacher’s guides,
        student worksheets, and exemplar lesson plans to guide teachers in integrating the use of the
        courseware in their lessons.
        The instructional design for each of the four Smart School subjects took into account the
        curriculum specifications and the pedagogical demands of the Smart School as described in
        the Conceptual Blueprint:
            Must cater to the different capabilities of students, for example, their learning styles,
             multiple intelligences, and learning modalities
            Be suitable for a variety of learning environments, ranging from teacher-centred
             environments to student-centred environments
            Allow students to practise self-paced, self-accessed, and self-directed learning
            Must have built-in assessment capabilities so that assessment records can be stored
             electronically for teachers to monitor their students’ progress
            Promote values, skills (especially creative and critical thinking skills), knowledge and
             language across the curriculum
            Allow for horizontal integration between subjects, and vertical integration between
             learning areas in a subject.
        The Pilot Project trial-tested only school-based assessment since only 87 out of 10,000
        schools were involved in the Pilot. The centralised assessment system was not implemented
        as part of the Pilot.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that the instructional design of any courseware developed for schools conforms to
             the curriculum specifications and pedagogical requirements of the national education
             system




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            Ensure that there is close coordination between the various agencies handling the “what”
             (curriculum) of education, the “how” (educational technology), and the “why”
             (assessment) of education


2. Shift in pedagogy as a result of integrating ICT in the curriculum
    a. Issue: The need for a shift in pedagogy as a result of integrating ICT in the curriculum
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Smart School Pilot Project introduced electronic learning materials for only four subjects.
        The in-service and pre-service training conducted by the Teacher Education Division also
        concentrated on these four subjects. As a result, the other subject teachers and other staff
        members regarded themselves as non-Smart School teachers, even within the Pilot Schools.
        While the teachers of the four subjects tried to apply the Smart School pedagogy and
        materials recommended in the Conceptual Blueprint, the other teachers generally maintained
        their usual methods of teaching.
        Fortunately, the Ministry of Education had emphasised learner-centred teaching, higher order
        thinking skills, generic skills, cooperative learning long before the start of the Smart School
        Project. Therefore, the better teachers were already practising “smart pedagogy” by using a
        variety of methods, strategies, tools and materials to cater to the individual differences in their
        students, with or without ICT.
        One very important ICT tool that is used extensively by many teachers and students in
        Malaysia is the internet. Most of them used their home computers to access the internet for
        quick information. Many schools are now using a variety of creative ways to obtain internet
        access for their staff and students, including getting corporate sponsorship and by holding
        fund-raising activities.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that integration of ICT in the curriculum is accompanied by changes in teacher
             training, pedagogy, assessment, and teaching-learning materials


3. Content and services that support continuous improvement in curriculum practices
    a. Issue: The need to ensure content and services that support improvement in curriculum
       practices
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        Until recently, all subjects except for the language subjects, were taught in Bahasa Melayu in
        the national schools, Chinese or Tamil in the national-type schools. Since 2002, Science and
        Mathematics have been taught in the English Language, beginning with Year One of primary
        school, Form One of secondary school, and Lower Six of upper secondary school. Teachers
        of the other levels of schooling are encouraged to start teaching Science and Mathematics in
        English, but they need not do so if they are not prepared to do so.
        Good electronic materials in Bahasa Melayu are still not easily available, but now Science
        and Mathematics teachers are happy to be able to access the vast resources of Science and
        Mathematics materials in English available on the internet, for example, GetCyberEd.com,
        the portal provided by the consortium that developed the Smart School Integrated Solution.
        Several local companies have established e-learning portals to provide services and materials
        to students and teachers. Most of these portals offer drill and practise materials to help
        students prepare for public examinations, but there are some portals that do offer a wide
        variety of services and materials to help teachers and students learn better.



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        The Smart School Pilot Project established BESTARInet, the Smart School portal to enable
        the Pilot Schools and parents of Smart School students to access their own schools remotely.
        Their level of access is controlled by the authority given to them by the School IT
        Coordinator, and approved by the School Head.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that ICT in education projects include continuous support in terms of materials
             and services


4. Development and selection of culturally sensitive content
    a. Issue: The need to ensure that content developed for schools are culturally sensitive
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        All materials developed for the Smart School Pilot Project were stringently tested at several
        levels for technical and content accuracy. A team of Ministry officers, including teachers and
        teacher trainers, were seconded to the shortlisted consortium to ensure that the materials were
        free of culturally and politically sensitive matter.
        The warranty for all the Smart School Applications Software runs for one year after the end of
        the Pilot Project. During the warranty period, all defects, errors and bugs in the software that
        are reported to the Ministry’s Smart School Help Desk will be remedied.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that a mechanism for evaluating all content developed for schools is in place to
             check on the political and cultural correctness of such content


5. Ethical and political implications of using English as lingua franca
    a. Issue: The need to use English more extensively in schools so as to be able to optimize the
       use of internet resources
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The internet offers a wide variety of materials in the English Language. Ever since the
        Government decided that the country needs to leapfrog into the ICT Age and transform itself
        into a knowledge-based economy, there has been a general consensus that school-leavers did
        not have the necessary competency in English Language to deal with the challenges of the
        ICT Age. The ICT industry regularly urged the Government to radically improve the
        standard of English Language in schools and universities. Although there was much public
        debate about increasing the usage of English Language in the schools and universities, the
        Cabinet did finally make the decision to use English to teach Science and Mathematics in
        2002.
        Intensive training courses are underway to ensure that all Science and Mathematics teachers
        are fully equipped to teach these two subjects using the English Language. The payment of a
        critical allowance to all Science and Mathematics teachers teaching in the English Language
        is an welcomed incentive to all the teachers involved.
    c. Lessons learned:
        Not applicable


6. Intellectual Property Rights related to educational software
    a. Issue: The need to ensure that ownership to Intellectual Property Rights are clearly defined.



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    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to the Smart School Integrated Solution and its
        components, including the Applications Software, passed to the Government of Malaysia on
        the acceptance of the Integrated Solution by the Ministry of Education.
        During the negotiations between the Government and the shortlisted consortium and before
        the signing of the Smart School Pilot Project Agreement, there was a proposal that the
        Government acquire a perpetual licence from the consortium instead of the IPR. However,
        the proposal was not supported by the Attorney-General’s Chambers who felt that the
        Government’s interest might be compromised if the IPR were not passed to the Government.
        All Government institutions and Government schools are allowed to use the Smart School
        Applications Software without having to pay licence fees.
        In Malaysia, it is illegal to use unlicensed software at any time by any party.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that a cost-benefit analysis be conducted before deciding on whether to acquire the
             Intellectual Property Rights of educational materials or to acquire a perpetual licence to
             use the materials




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Component 7: Professional Development (Pre-service and In-service)




1. Policy in teacher training on ICT
    a. Issue: The need for a policy on teacher training on ICT
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The three policies formulated by the Ministry for ICT in Education do not include a specific
        policy on teacher training on ICT.
        The first policy is that of ICT for all students, meaning that ICT is used as an enabler to
        reduce the digital gap between the schools.
        The second policy emphasises the role and function of ICT in education as a teaching and
        learning tool, as part of a subject, and as a subject by itself. Apart from using radio and
        television as a teaching and learning tool, this policy stresses the use of the computer for
        accessing information, communication, and as a productivity tool. ICT as part of a subject
        refers to the use of software (e.g. AutoCAD and SCAD) in subjects such as “Invention” and
        “Engineering Drawing.” ICT as a subject refers to the introduction of subjects such as
        “Information Technology” and “Computerisation”.
        The third policy emphasises using ICT to increase productivity, efficiency and effectiveness
        of the management system. ICT is used extensively used to automate and mechanise work
        processes such as the processing of official forms, timetable generation, management of
        information systems, lesson planning, financial management, and the maintenance of
        inventories.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that a policy requiring all teachers to become competent in the use of ICT in their
             daily routine tasks as teachers and classroom managers be established for any national
             ICT in Education Programme


2. Need for teacher competencies and standards before training
    a. Issue: The need to establish teacher competencies and standards before training
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Smart School Project did not specify a set of competencies or basic standards for teachers
        to develop in order to use ICT in teaching.
        However, the Ministry is using lessons learned from the Pilot Project to develop Key
        Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Malaysian Smart School.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that Key Performance Indicators are prepared before the implementation of any
             training programme in ICT


3. How to change mindset of teachers
    a. Issue: The need to change the mindset of teachers
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:




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        All Pilot School Heads, the School IT Coordinators, Resource Teachers for the four subjects
        (Bahasa Melayu, English Language, Science and Mathematics) were gathered several times a
        year from 2000 – 2002 for change management meetings.
        In 2000, the necessity to observe certain ICT security policies and procedures was introduced.
        In 2001, the main components of the Smart School Integrated Solution were introduced and
        the stakeholders discussed their changing roles and responsibilities. The Pilot Schools were
        guided to develop their own change management plans. In 2002, the key stakeholders were
        guided to develop materials for use in their daily routines, whether as administrators, IT
        coordinators, or classroom teachers. In 2003, all school change management activities were
        documented in terms of success stories or lessons learned.
        The change in all the stakeholders has been slow in most cases, although there are a few cases
        of outstanding high-performing individuals who have not only embraced the changes brought
        by the Smart School but have succeeded in influencing their colleagues and students to
        change together with them.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that a profile of a change leader is developed so that potential change agents or
             leaders can be identified and nurtured
            Ensure that incentives and disincentives are put in place to help manage change
            Ensure that high performing schools, school administrators, teachers and support staff are
             publicized and cited as exemplars


4. Content focus of capacity building for teachers
    a. Issue: The need to plan and implement professional development programmes that cater to
       the requirements of the Smart School
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Teacher Education Division of the Ministry of Education is responsible for the pre-
        service and in-service of Smart School teachers. The integration of ICT into classroom
        teaching has been made compulsory for all pre-service teachers since 1999. However, not all
        in-service teachers have been trained to integrate ICT into their teaching practices.
        The Smart School Pilot Project Team identified critical gaps in the Pilot Smart School
        teachers’ ICT competencies, and arranged for training to be conducted for skills such as word
        processing, use of graphic tools and spreadsheets.
        Based on the experience gathered from the Pilot Project, a long-term five-year plan for
        professional development has been planned for the following parties: school administrators,
        classroom teachers, teachers handling specialised areas such as counselling, school resource
        centres, hostel management, school support staff.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that a training needs requirements analysis is conducted on the staff of any school
             participating in an ICT project
            Ensure that training or professional development programmes cater to the needs of the
             staff
            Ensure that some form of competency certification is awarded for each training or
             professional development programmes attended by teachers to make it worth their while
             to attend




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5. Capacity building of all education personnel and at all levels
    a. Issue: The need to ensure that education personnel at all levels are given training in the Smart
       School concept and implementation requirements
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Educational Technology Division is finalising a five-year training and professional
        development plan which takes into account all the personnel involved in the roll-out of the
        Smart School, namely, Educational Technology Division officers, state level officers
        including officers from the State Education Departments and the State Educational Resource
        Centres, school support staff such as clerks and technicians.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that the training and professional development plan is prepared with sufficient
             budget to train all education personnel at all levels


6. Incentive system and motivational strategies for teachers (accreditation and certification,
   etc.)
    a. Issue: The need to motivate teachers to participate actively in the Smart School Project
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        Other than the teachers teaching the four subjects included in the Smart School Pilot Project,
        the other teachers in the Pilot Schools were generally not motivated to improve their ICT
        skills.
        Since the Government implemented the new civil service scheme in 2001 which encourages
        and rewards civil servants who acquire competencies in specific areas, there is now greater
        motivation on the part of teachers to acquire ICT skills and knowledge.
        The Smart School Development Team is experimenting with the “International Computer
        Driving Licence”, which offers competency certification at the end of the course, to determine
        whether certification would motivate them to sign up for training and using ICT in their work
        after the training.
    c. Lessons learned:
            Ensure that participation in ICT training and professional development programmes are
             accreditated and contribute to improving teachers’ chances of promotion and salary
             increment




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Component 8: Monitoring and Evaluation




1. Documentation of benefits of using ICT in education (including issue of methodology)
    a. Issue: The need to document the benefits of using ICT in education
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        At present, the Ministry of Education feels that it is still premature to publish the benefits of
        the Smart School Pilot Project since the last release of the Smart School Integrated Solution
        was only delivered in late 2002.
        However, studies on individual components of the Integrated Solution are being carried out
        and documented by the Smart School Development Team.
    c. Lessons learned:
        Not applicable


2. Assessing learning impact
    a. Issue: The need to assess the impact of the Smart School Integrated Solution on the
       performance of students
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        At present, no study on the impact of the Smart School Integrated Solution on student
        performance has been conducted. The Ministry will conduct a study in 2004, after the full
        Smart School Integrated Solution has been used for at least a year by all the students in the
        Pilot Schools.
    c. Lessons learned:
        Not applicable


3. Programme evaluation
    a. Issue: The need to evaluate the effectiveness of the Smart School Pilot Project and the user
       acceptance of the Smart School Integrated Solution
    b. How and why the issue was addressed:
        The Educational Technology Division, in cooperation with the Multimedia Development
        Corporation, has commissioned two evaluation studies on the Smart School Integrated
        Solution.
        The first study, conducted by Frost and Sullivan, benchmarked the Smart School Integrated
        Solution against international practices. The report is written in English and is available on
        request from the Educational Technology Division. It is also available on BESTARInet, the
        Smart School Portal, www.moe.edu.my.
        The second study, conducted by a team of researchers from five local universities, evaluated
        the user acceptance and effectiveness of the Smart School Integrated Solution. The final draft
        of the report, written in Bahasa Melayu, will be available before the end of 2003.
    c. Lessons learned:




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            Ensure that all ICT in education projects are evaluated in terms of effectiveness and user
             acceptance
            Ensure that all ICT in education projects are benchmarked against international best
             practices to determine the quality of the projects




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    Bibliography


    Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The Malaysian Smart School: A Conceptual Blueprint. Kuala
    Lumpur, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 1997.
    Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The Malaysian Smart School Implementation Plan. Kuala
    Lumpur, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 1997.
    Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The Smart School Concept Request for Proposals for Teaching
    and Learning Materials. Kuala Lumpur, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 1997.
    Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The Smart School Concept Request for Proposals for a Smart
    School Management System. Kuala Lumpur, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 1997.
    Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The Smart School Concept Request for Proposals for a Smart
    School Assessment System. Kuala Lumpur, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 1997.
    Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The Smart School Concept Request for Proposals for a Smart
    School Technology Infrastructure. Kuala Lumpur, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 1997.
    Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The Smart School Concept Request for Proposals for Systems
    Integration. Kuala Lumpur, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 1997.
    Government of Malaysia. Electronic Government Information Technology Policy and Standards.
    Kuala Lumpur, Government of Malaysia, 1997.
    Ministry of Education. Smart School IT Security Policies and Procedures, version 2.0. Kuala
    Lumpur, Educational Technology Division, 2002.
    Ministry of Education. Benchmarking of the Smart School Integrated Solution. Kuala Lumpur,
    Educational Technology Division, 2003.
    Ministry of Education. User Acceptance and Effectiveness of the Smart School Integrated
    Solution. Kuala Lumpur, Educational Technology Division, 2003. (In Bahasa Melayu).




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