News Asia
December 2006

News Asia

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Malaysia and India to initiate regional IPR institute

Malaysia and India will initiate the establishment of an India-Asean Institute for Intellectual Property Rights to build human resource capacities and training to serve the region.

The regional institute would also help protect IPR of products produced by both regions, said the Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology, Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.

This was agreed to at the bilateral meeting between Malaysia and India on Science & Technology (S&T) Cooperation and now it is at the midst of discussions for the mechanism to set up the institute which will be located in Malaysia. Both countries have also agreed to pursue the idea of harmonising the regulatory framework for Biopharmaceutical sector in the East Asia region. In the field of research & development (R&D), India and Malaysia have agreed to undertake collaborative R&D on a sharing basis in three areas – Biotechnology, Information Technology and Space Technology.

More schools getting Smart with ICT

Seven years after the Education Ministry in Malaysia introduced the Smart School computer programme project at 88 schools, a total of 4,495 more are now equipped with computer labs, in line with the ministry's Making Schools Smart programme.

An evolution of the pilot smart school project, the Making Schools Smart programme is built on the various ICT initiatives from the smart school project to educational television broadcast service. Early this year, 10 pilot schools in the Kalabakan area of Sabah were equipped with Internetready “Access Centres.” to give students and teachers more ICT exposure. The success of this programme has led to the setting up of Access Centres in 74 other primary and secondary schools in the rural areas of Sabah and Johor. The Access Centres are similar to cybercafes but they focus on learning and enabling students to work on their assignments. This is different from the existing computer labs, which are used to conduct lessons for certain subjects and will be housed in a separate room.

Recently, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein announced that up to 1,500 schools will be equipped with the Access Centres receiving 15,000 personal computers, 1,500 printers as well as the necessary furniture. Next year, another 1,290 schools will receive 10 computers each.

Malaysian state to provide free surfing in all big towns

Free wireless broadband Internet service will be provided in all major towns in Perak by April next year, according to Malaysian Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali. He said the service would be available at all 15 district council areas in Perak. Ipoh is the first town in the country to offer such a facility which is available at the three rest and recreation areas along the North-South Highway in Perak since last March. The facility will be provided in stages. He said the state government allocated RM20 million ($8.7 million) annually for the development of information and communication technology (ICT) of which RM19 million was for infrastructure cost and the remaining for training.

Alliance to Promote ICT Education

Raman International Institute of Information Technology (RiiiT), an ICT solution provider for the education sector, has announced its tie-up with the Cambridge University Press for promoting ICT education for the K-12 segment catering to the entire South Asian market.

RiiiT has conceptualised an innovative end-to-end curriculum for ICT Education for K-12, named “IT Kids”. “IT Kids” is a special package of teaching material, to assist students and teachers in honing ICT Skills. In stage 1, the child and teacher are supported with conventional books; in stage 2, digital aid is provided, wherein the teacher is supported with classroom presentation, workshops/seminars, orientation programs, session plans; in stage 3, computers-based tutorial and online crossword puzzles, quizzes, memory games, animations, etc are provided. Whereas in stage 4, e-learning content is provided more through images, audio, simulation, and multimedia.

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