KUALA LUMPUR, 2 JUNE 2009 -- An inaugural teaching conference concludes that teaching methods in Asia must be boosted by the use ICT.
This is according to hosts Malaysia's ministry of education, software giant Microsoft Malaysia, and non-profit student organisation TakingITGlobal.
Microsoft Malaysia managing director Yasmin Mahmood said the company hosted the 5th Regional Innovative Teachers' Conference in Kuala Lumpur, which attracted educators from 18 countries under its flagship Partners-in-Learning initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and TakingITGlobal.
Our aim with the Innovative Teachers programme is to help educators further their professional development, promote the creation of best practices, award software grants and give them access to online learning communities, said Mahmood.
The conference was part of Microsoft's roadmap for students in Malaysia concerning their engagement with technology throughout their education. The company recently announced an US$870 million (RM3.045 billion) investment through the launch of its DreamSpark programme in Malaysia, aimed at equipping and empowering the next generation of software developers by providing professional-level tools to more than 870,000 tertiary-level students.
Raising the bar
Secretary-general of the Malaysian ministry of education, Tan Sri Dr. Zulkurnain bin Haji Awang, said traditional teaching and learning methods need to be supported by an ICT framework and there needs to be deep and continued collaboration between the private sector and government agencies to help teachers develop the country's human capital. The ministry is always receptive to positive change in classroom practices and the approach of integrating ICT into teaching and learning situations provides an excellent opportunity for us to level the playing field and raise the bar of education achievement and standards.
We are proud that our close relationship with the ministry of education and Microsoft has resulted in an initiative such as this year's Regional Innovative Teachers' Conference, where students and teachers have the opportunity to share knowledge and learn from their regional counterparts, said UNESCO Bangkok director, Dr Kim Gwang-Jo. Together with our two International Centres for Technical and Vocational Education and Training [UNESCO-UNEVOC] in Malaysia, it is without doubt that this conference brings us closer to the UNESCO vision of education as a key to greater social and economic development.
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