I wrote this little article more
than 10 years ago (1998) and little that I realized that it became a
major source of reference for teachers who wanted to know more
about Smart School then.
Malaysia launched her Multimedia Super Corridor(MSC) project,
Sekolah Bestari (Malaysian Smart School) is on the top priority of
one of its flagships. Since then, the Bestari concept in education
is one of the most talk-about topic among educators and trainers
in Malaysia. The first phase of Sekolah Bestari will begin
operation in 1999 academic year.
the Sekolah Bestari be the same as many Smart Schools
mushrooming around the Globe?
all Malaysian schools afford the latest technology?
present Malaysian education system smart enough?
Malaysian educators be able to cope with the new concept?
will the students be assessed?
are among the FAQs about Sekolah Bestari. I will try to give brief
explanation to the above FAQs.
The Sekolah Bestari won't be the same as any existing
Smart Schools anywhere around the world. These are due to two main
factors involving current education system in Malaysia and will
continue in Sekolah Bestari. Firstly: The National Phylosophy of
Malaysian Education will be the main component of Sekolah Bestari
curriculum and secondly: moral values that have been stressed in
present curriculum will go on into Bestari schooling. These two
foundations of Malaysian Education will not be nagiotable in the
Bestari Curriculum. This will make the Sekolah Bestari different
than the rest of Smart Schools. How the curriculum is being
carried out in Sekolah Bestari may resemble to the existing Smart
ideas about Sekolah Bestari being projected to
the Malaysian public, people started imagining classrooms packed
with computers, internet, video conferencing equipments and all
the latest communication technology can offer. These
misconceptions were due to the association of Sekolah Bestari and
MSC. Sekolah Bestari is NOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY. If the technology is
there then it is wise to use it. The most important idea about
Sekolah Bestari involves the teaching and learning process. The
Bestari curriculum will cater for all levels of learners. This is
where virtual express class concept comes in. A fast learners will
be able to proceed to the higher and more complex contents of the
syllabus while the slow learners will continue with activities
until they are ready to move on. The previuos sentence was easy to
state but how well can a teacher carry out in the Bestari
classroom. The first step towards the preparation of Sekolah
Bestari is for the Bestari Teachers undergoing retraining in FIVE
skills in context with Sekolah Bestari. The skills are: 1)
Learning Skills, 2) Creative and Critical Thinking, 3)
Facilitating, 4) Assessment and Evaluation, and 5) Technologically
competent. All these skills must be acquired wholly for teachers
to be able to FACILITATE Bestari classrooms. The teaching
continuum will move from teaching to facilitating as students in
one Bestari classroom will be doing different activities according
to their abilities. The present Sage by the Stage approach
will move to Guide by the Side. The technology will no
doubt facilitate these process but again is only considered as
tools in the teaching and learning process. The Bestari concept
can be carried out even for a school without a phone line or even
the five elements stated in the above paragraph have been
practiced in Malaysian schools for years and nothing is new about
it. The only thing lacking with the present system is that there
is not much democratization in education. Students have no choice
on what to learn and when to sit for the examination. The present assessment system
does not allow learners to sit for the exam when they are ready.
Exams are scheduled to the most only twice a year. With the new
concept more School based or portfolio based assessment will be
carried out allowing students more freedom to learn. This
flexibility will allow more room for teachers to plan their
lessons which will not be too exam orientated. The Malaysian
Examination Syndicate will come up with Smart Assessment whereby
students will be able to take exams whenever they are ready.
Registration will be on-line and students can checks their
cumulative performance and even got the chance to improvise on
To all Bestari Teachers to be, here's something from
Teach My Grandson Teacher - Gently, If You
grandson starts school today. It's going to be strange and new to
him for a while, and I wish you would sort of treat him
up to now, he's been king of the roost -- he's been boss of the
backyard. His mom, dad, and Grandma have always been around to
repair his wounds, and soothe his feelings.
things are going to be different! This morning he's going to walk
down the front steps, wave his hand, and start out on a great
adventure... it's an adventure that might take him across the
continent... it's an adventure that might incllude wars and
strategy and sorrow.
his live in this world, will require faith and love and courage.
So teacher, I pray you will take him by his young hand and teach
him the things he will have to know.
grandson teacher -- but gently, if you can. He will have to learn,
I know, that all men are not just, that all men are not
teach him also, that for every scounderel, there is a hero.. that
for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach
him that for every enemy, there is a friend.
take time teacher, I know, but teach my grandson, if you can, that
a nickel earned is far more value than a dollar found... teach him
to learn to lose... and to enjoy winning.
him away from envy, if you can, and teach him the secret of quiet
grandson learn early that the bullies are the easiest people to
lick.. teach him, if you can, the wonder of books... but also give
him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill.
school, teacher, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than
to cheat... teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if
everyone tells him that he is wrong... teach him to be gentle with
gentle people and tough with tough people.
give my grandson strength not to follow the crowd when everyone
else is getting on the bandwagon... teach him to listen to all
men... but, teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of
truth and take only the good that comes through.
grandson teacher.. but gently if you can, how to laugh when he is
sad... teach him there is no shame in tears... teach him there can
be glory in failure and despair in success.
him to close his ears to a howling mob... and to stand and fight
if he thinks he is right.
him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.. teach
him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidders but,
never, never, put a price tag on his heart and
grandson gently, teacher, but don't coddle him, because only the
test of fire makes fine steel.. let him have the courage to be
impatient... let him have the patience to be
him always to have sublime faith in himself. Becorder, teacher,
but please help him if you can do. You see, he's such a nice
little fellow... my grandson.
Teach my grandson,
teacherause then he
will have sublime faith in God and
This is a tall
gently if you can.
by Thomas Halbert
Thanks for dropping by.