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Education Ministry urged to assess second phase of 1BestariNet

AUDIT REPORT | The Education Ministry has been urged to conduct a holistic assessment of the effectiveness of Phase 2 of the 1BestariNet service project as its implementation was not comprehensive.

According to the Auditor-General's Report 2018 Series 1, the 1BestariNet was aimed at providing broadband services and a teaching-and-learning environment through the virtual learning environment (VLE) to all schools under the ministry.

“However, based on its key performance indicators, its usage was not comprehensive, and usage of the Frog VLE was low.

"Its application was still limited to laboratories and school hours, while there was no delivery of effective information to parents on the benefits of the VLE for their children’s educational development,” read the report released today.

According to the audit, which was conducted from October 2018 until March this year, 3,698 of 10,185 schools never achieved their KPI on the use of Frog VLE last year, while only 0.8 percent of 423,566 teachers had built a learning page and published on Frog Store.

Payment of RM1.69 million was made to 35 of 10,185 schools for Frog VLE services, while between July 2016 and November 2018, 35 schools never used the Frog VLE.

The audit report also found that the proposal to activate the VLE ID by parents under the Change Management programme in 8,094 of 8,551 schools which were visited was not realised.

The audit report also said the Education Ministry did not consider the suggestion by the Value Management Laboratory, which was implemented on a pioneer basis in 400 schools, and there was a lack of learning materials in Frog VLE for the vocational college learning scheme.

The report pointed out that a holistic policy and digital approach in teaching-and-learning must be provided by the ministry, which must also be more teacher-friendly as they were the agents of digitalisation in education.

1BestariNet is the Education Ministry’s initiative to provide teaching-and-learning facilities to boost effectiveness in the management and delivery of learning.

On May 7, 2012, an RM663 million contract was signed to provide internet connectivity to 10,000 schools for two years six months from Dec 13, 2011 until June 12, 2014, with two additional agreements with an additional cost of RM2.09 million.

After the contract ended, seven additional agreements worth RM497.26 million were signed between the ministry and the contractors for the period from June 13, 2014 until June 30, 2016.

Later, the ministry continued with the services of 1BestariNet into Phase 2, after its proposal was approved by the Finance Ministry, with costs amounting to RM1.55 billion for three years from July 1, 2016 until June 30, 2019.

Phase 2 of 1BestariNet is expected to fully support the Malaysian Education Plan 2013–2025 by providing a teaching-and-learning environment, aided by information and communication technology unhampered by the formal schooling space and hours.

In addition, 1BestariNet would also narrow the digital divide in teaching-and-learning between urban and rural schools as well as be a medium of information and resource sharing.

- Bernama


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