The Malaysian state of Terengganu had an ambitious project to give each of its 300,000 schoolchildren their own PC. Although the state originally intended to load open source software on each PC, after discussions with Microsoft Partners in Learning program, PCs were being deployed with Microsoft Live@edu services and full-featured Microsoft development tools, platform technologies, and production licenses of server products from the Microsoft BizSpark global program. Currently over 90,000 students have their own PCs, the economy is benefiting from assembling the PCs locally. The state is taking advantage of programs that will help it extend the reach of ICT in schools and local communities to ensure technology is at the core of its education and industry initiatives.Situation
Terengganu is one of three states located on the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia. A trading post since ancient times, the 5,000 square mile state is known today primarily for its clear-watered tropical islands, long stretch of picturesque coastline, and—perhaps a little paradoxically—its rich petroleum resources.
The state government places high importance on technology competency and its importance in driving a knowledge-led economy and place technology at the core of teaching and learning. With this in mind the government wanted to boost information and communication technology (ICT) adoption in local schools and enhance the quality of education delivered to its students. Terengganu announced plans to provide each one of its 300,000 students within its 467 schools with their own netbook.
As a first step, Terengganu began working closely with Intel® to roll out “Projek Buku Elektronik” (Electronic Book Project), aimed at deploying 25,000 Intel-powered classmate PCs to year-five students. To ensure long term sustainability and support of local industry, the state planned to assemble the netbooks locally and offer them through retail channels for remaining students. Solution
Initially government officials had been using open source software and had plans to digitize its textbooks, and within three years feature Web-based learning content within schools. When approached by Microsoft Partners in Learning, a 10-year global initiative aimed at improving teaching and learning, the government realized that a complete package of solutions was available to support innovations in education.
Che Abd Rani Bin Mohd, Director, Terengganu State ICT Unit, comments, “When we looked at what Microsoft was offering, we were excited because it was a complete solution for education. There are holistic programs that we can use immediately and Microsoft was able to help us deploy them.”
”The complete package that we were able to offer fits the aspirations of Terengganu state,” further explains Akmal Jaafar, Platform Strategies Director, Microsoft. “The state wants not only to increase the quality of graduating students, but also find ways to support local entrepreneurs.”
The state was particularly interested in the combination of education solutions tailored for students provided through Microsoft Live@edu, and Microsoft BizSpark. Live@edu is a free suite of hosted Microsoft services and applications that students use to collaborate and communicate online, and the BizSpark program is designed to help accelerate the success of entrepreneurs and early-stage startups globally. In the months before the rollout of the first 25,000 PCs Microsoft began working with Terengganu state to deliver classmate PCs loaded with Microsoft software.Benefits
From placing technology at the core of the education curriculum and supplying schoolchildren with PCs to support the local economy, the effects of the Terengganu PC project are far-reaching.
Enables Quick PC Rollout
Microsoft Partners in Learning programs involve deep collaboration between multiple entities. Microsoft, Intel, local government and businesses, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) were worked closely together to implement the project. As a result, the initial 25,000 PCs were distributed to the first group of year five students as scheduled. Due to this success the government then rolled out a further 47,000 PCs to year five and year six pupils in all primary schools. This year 45,000 PCs will be distributed to year four and year five students.
Improves Student IT Literacy
||We have been very pleased with the solutions we have received from Microsoft,” says Che Abd Rani. “It makes sense to keep taking advantage of these solutions that work together.
||Che Abd Rani Bin Mohd, Director, Terengganu State ICT Unit
According to a report published by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Internet penetration in Terengganu increased from 28 per cent to 51 per cent in 2010, which the state is attributing to its electronic book project. The project has helped to transform schools in urban and rural areas into modern teaching and learning facilities through seamless access to IT. Access to Microsoft software through Live@edu and the BizSpark program is now preparing students for the future through training on the same software that their employers use.
The value of the project has been extended in several areas. With the increased IT literacy of their students, many teachers are embarking on furthering their own ICT training. The state plans to provide teachers with laptops, and provide ongoing access to Microsoft solutions in schools. “We have been very pleased with the solutions we have received from Microsoft,” says Che Abd Rani. “It makes sense to keep taking advantage of these solutions that work together.”
Supports the community
The state is assembling 10,000 PCs per month through TopIT, a wholly-owned government company. The PCs will be made available first to students, and then to the wider population through standard retail channels. Today, the state has far exceeded its original goals. TopIT is on the way to becoming a fully-fledged OEM, and is currently sending thousands of its PCs to other countries, including Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. As a result, the state’s efforts are also having an impact on the entire economy of the region.
Ensures Cost Effective Solution
The state of Terengganu has a holistic view of technology and its impact on its citizens and economy, and is able to meet its goals through providing a cost effective solution. “Technology plays a key role across all segments of our population,” says Che Abd Rani. “We want everything to work together, from government offices to schools to private enterprise. Microsoft helps us to do this, and it’s much more cost-effective than we assumed it would be.”Microsoft Online Services
Microsoft Online Services are business-class communication and collaboration solutions delivered as a subscription service and hosted by Microsoft. With these offerings, customers can cost-effectively access the most up-to-date technologies and immediately benefit from streamlined communications, simplified management, and business-class reliability and security features. For IT staffers, Microsoft Online Services are backed by strong service level agreements and help reduce the burden of performing routine IT management, freeing up time to focus on core business initiatives.
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