May 25, 2017
Photo - Dato' P Kamalanathan, Deputy Minister 1, Ministry of Education, officiating the Digital Maker Hub at SMK Komplex KLIA, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. Witnessed by (left to right): Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, Chairman of MDEC; Puan Hajah Aini binti Mohamad Salehuddin, Principal of SMK Kompleks KLIA, Nilai; and Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC.
It's about reinventing all sectors
"Today, digital innovation is reinventing all sectors and changing the job landscape," said Yasmin later. "To ensure Malaysia remains competitive in the local and global scene, it is vital that we equip our young with essential digital skills so they are ready for the future 'digital workforce' and to embrace global digital opportunities."
"Creating a nation of digital makers requires concerted efforts from industry players and academia, which brings us to this milestone today," she said. "We are pleased to cement a partnership with PINTAR Foundation in supporting this outreach; and we thank all our strategic partners for their contributions and for their instrumental role in helping to transform our children from digital users to digital producers."
Yasmin said MDEC was currently collaborating with several strategic partners and universities to build a digital maker ecosystem, which provides project-based learning opportunities via co-curricular activities, digital maker hubs and competitions. The companies involved offer expertise in digital innovation and creativity, tools and teaching materials as well as resources to host Digital Maker Hubs.
She also explained the broader view of #mydigitalmaker partnership ecosystem, which "is an across-the-board initiative that follows the students throughout their education years. From exposure to computational thinking and computer science concepts in primary and secondary schools, MDEC through its industry and academia partners further create avenues for students to pursue tertiary courses related to digital technology careers."
MDEC and its partners are also future proofing talents by providing internship placements during school holidays and potential scholarships to support tertiary studies in digital technology courses.
In January 2017, Computational Thinking was integrated into the new Standard Based Curriculum for Primary (KSSR) and Standard Based Curriculum for Secondary (KSSM) as a part of the agenda spearheaded by the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE), and supported by MDEC.
The integration of Computational Thinking and Computer Science is benefiting all primary schools, while Basic Computer Science and Computer Science are currently offered as elective subjects at about 50 percent of secondary schools. By 2020, all school students are expected to expose to computational thinking and computer science concepts.
PINTAR Foundation's Board of Trustee member Sabri Ab Rahman commented: "We are focused on making a difference in the lives of students in underserved communities by promoting education through creative, innovative and mentally stimulating methods."
"When the opportunity rose to collaborate with MDEC and extend the outreach of 'Kembara #mydigitalmaker bersama PINTAR', we were excited to be on board as we knew the difference it would make to expose rural and suburban students to the rich and rewarding outlooks of digital technology. While school curriculum is important in shaping young minds, introducing a different approach through informal learning will certainly provide the boost our education system needs to give the future generation a competitive edge in an increasing technological and digital world."
[You may also find more comprehensive insights and information about Malaysia's digital industry at - What's really in store for Malaysia's IT industry in 2017? ]
The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia.