Photo - YB P. Kamalanathan, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education Malaysia, delivering his keynote at the BETT Asia Leadership Summit 2014
According to Microsoft, the number of Microsoft showcase schools and innovative educator experts from Malaysia at the 2014 Asia Pacific BETT Leadership summit has increased from 2013 by 300 percent and 275 percent respectively since 2013.
"Technology has the power to economically expand the impact of education, and accelerate the growth potential of every student, educator and school," said Microsoft Malaysia managing director, Carlos Lacerda, adding that the recent annual event, which included 23 Microsoft Showcase Schools and 173 Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) experts from 10 countries across the region, gathered exceptional thought leaders from countries including Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
"We are very pleased to see more schools and educator experts receive the recognition they deserve for their pioneering efforts in using technology to reinvent productivity in the classroom," he said. "In Malaysia, this number has risen significantly from a single Showcase School and four MIE Experts in 2013, to three new Showcase Schools and 11 MIE Experts respectively."
The APAC group amounted to almost a fifth of the 830 teachers and 150 schools being recognised as the best of education innovators from across the world at the summit, added Lacerda.
Almost 22 percent of MIE Experts from around the world are from APAC while around 15 percent of Showcase Schools globally also come from the region, he said.
"The Malaysia Showcase Schools and Innovative Educator Experts are leading the way in modernising learning environments and delivering more personalised education to students," said Lacerda, adding that of innovators and collaborators.
The transformation of learning
As well as companies and educators from the region, the summit also brought together senior government officials from more than 20 countries including Malaysia's deputy minister of education, Yang Berhormat P. Kamalanathan, who delivered a keynote during the summit emphasisin the importance of new approaches and platforms to make learning fun, exciting and effective, especially with the use of technology that was available today.
"Education is a major contributor to the development of our social and economic capital," said Kamalanathan. "It inspires creativity and fosters innovation; provides our youth with the necessary skills to be able to compete in the global environment; and is a key driver of growth in the economy."
"It is vital for Malaysia's education system to produce a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce that is comparable to the best in this region and beyond, and more importantly, be the catalyst to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020," he said.
"Last year, the Malaysian Government, though the Malaysia Education Blueprint, announced a strategic 12 year plan for a rapid and sustainable transformation of the education system through to 2025," said Kamalanathan. "Transformation does not happen overnight but is an ongoing process with continuous efforts from all stakeholders, including the support and committed participation of parents."
Microsoft Malaysia's Lacerda added: "We realise that real change to achieve desired outcomes can be a major challenge. Quality education is not only a basic right, but a social imperative. It is the key to economic opportunity, not only for individuals, but for their communities. Through our investments, partnerships, programs and software, we are helping ensure that all students have access to quality education, all educators are equipped and prepared to meet the needs of students, and all leaders have a clear vision for true innovation with real impact."
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