Malaysia Leapfrogging on ICT

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Ravi Gupta


Coinciding with its first major push for implementation of Information and Communication Technology in education, Malaysia’s unique ability to have been able to leapfrog from an agrarian to high-technology manufacturing economy was receiving laurels from Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs (The Geography of Poverty and Wealth, Scientific American, March 2001).

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Seven years on, Malaysia continues to lead South-East Asian countries in being able to address the demands of  a region that is marked by high-level of competitiveness in terms of new and better tools and technologies for doing businesses and manufacturing.

Such a transformation is a precondition for regional economies, industries and enterprises to take full advantage of the significant opportunities of a global economy, which is largely knowledge-based, digitally linked and highly competitive.

In this backdrop and also in lines that Digital Learning team will oraganise the eAsia 2008 Conference and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, host by the Ministry of Energy, Water, and Communications, Government of Malaysia, from November 11-13, in this issue we look at Malaysia’s tryst with introduction of e-Learning in schools that highlights the success so far and the challenges of moving to the next phase of integration. We also look at higher education in the context of e-Learning through a study of IHEs to find gaps that are being addressed to synergise economic growth with manpower needs of a knowledge economy. There is a new focus on bringing ICT to rural areas through initiatives such as tele-health, e-Learning, and web-enabled teaching, in the second phase of expansion of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) to be completed by 2010.

Talking of addressing the twin needs of strenghtened economy and education, we also bring you a special interview of how ICT is being used to generate employment and educate poor youth in Cambodia and Laos.

Having said this, we hope our readers find this issue engaging enough. We also wish our readers and contributors a happy festive season. And hope to see you all in Kuala Lumpur!

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