Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Virtual Integration

Yes, the Ministry of Education means it literally. As part of the Racial Integration Programme (RIMUP) for school children, there is now plans to create an online "game" to promote "virtual" integration. When I read the report, frontpaged on the Sun today, I nearly fell off my chair (ok, that one is not meant to be taken literally).

As it is, RIMUP (which was blogged here much earlier) has a relatively small budget of RM25.8 million to operate with for the year. However, it has been disclosed by the Ministry of Education that almost one-third of the funds, RM8.35 million is being used to develop the programme and "set up internet and servers and software in schools for the e-integration programme".

(Tony faints.)

Apparently this software is a "virtual game with 10 different components, using cartoon characters like Izat, Chong and Raj with a storyline that has elements of national unity. Student from all other schools can be lined through the game virtually, without actually meeting up."

(Tony faints again.)

Are our officials, elected or otherwise, so absolutely out of their minds? We already complain that students have insufficent interaction with each other. Now the Ministry is trying to enforce this lack of interaction by providing them with a ficticious and virtual "lala-land" where they are probably fed an overdose of perfect ethnic relations.

It doesn't take a child psychologist to be able to tell you that integration is built through physical interaction and other real world experiences. A child's emotional growth depends on the varied responses given by different parties under similar circumstances. Interaction and communication necessitates actual speech (face to face, just in case some other joker decides that adding webcams will solve the problem) and live discussions. It entails laughter and tears, and not some woolly feel-good cartoons!

How in the world are we suppose to build integration playing computer games? It's just as bad as the current Moral paper in SPM whereby one has to literally memorise word for word the 81 nilai murni. Are we losing track of the objectives of the programme? Or is this just another small leakage in the system?

Sigh. As highlighted earlier in posts about the National Education Blueprint, it's really not the objectives which are the issue with the typical government plans. It's all down to its implementation, and obviously the implementors (or the lack of them) behind the programme.


H said...

8M for developing this project Seriously? LOL
Why don't connect these kids via The Sim (a social game) or asked them to join instead

Anonymous said...


Tony...its been about TEN years since the idea of the Universities headed by UM being CORPORATIZED!

Wat ever happened to the project?

Are our Universities been corporotized especially with so much GOLD MEDALS being collected
Hope you will follow up this issue

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is creative, a very creative idea by the keris wielding guy. How is the graphic like? Are they including sex components (for education) in it? Will it be listed in the Guiness World Record? Malaysia indeed Boleh!!!!

PS: As long as we are integrated in the virtual world, Hishame can continue to show and kiss his own ass each year. Why don't Allah strip him naked?

Anonymous said...

oh wow, can i have the tender paper for this project? or is it already 'awarded' to certain company huh? All the world over, expert are telling us that children of today are spending less and less time interacting because of the computers, and now our leader (and that's the on from the education portfolio, mind you) is telling us otherwise? Ok guys and gals, forget about being a doctor or lawyer, the next money generating occupation will be a Psychologist. I am going to apply switching course now!

Anonymous said...

Wow... this idea sounds really cool...I mean students can actually use this piece of thing where those students at urban areas can meet up with their rural counterparts, but they seems to forget about the lack of computing facilities at the rural areas, and lack of computer training, which we term as the digital divide problem. They are assuming that the broadband penetration rate is already very high, and forgetting that some folks still rely on that 56k phone line...

okok, so maybe they are coming out with the game with very very low bandwidth whereas you can also play over the 56k phoneline...hey tony don't faint hah... hehe

Conclusion: Satu Lagi Projek Kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang amat "menguntungkan".

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know which company actually get the contract and who is the big boss behind it.

xenobiologista said...

Games and other forms of online interaction can be a good mixer for people who wouldn't ordinarily meet in real life (I recently read Terry Pratchett's novel "Thud" where he uses trolls and dwarfs as stand-ins for real-life ethnic groups, hehe).

I propose a much cheaper solution: rent cybercafes and let the kids play World of Warcraft or Guild Wars, but force them to play in groups of mixed races.

Anonymous said...

WOW! did they spent it to setup computers on vernacular schools as well? I really thought it was a Racial Integration program, where they really maximise the benefits of the programme.

Anonymous said...

not to mention who should be given the contract to do all these things... (more money to the pocket).. lol..

anyway, i dun agree with all this things. c'mon.. We all know that... The problem is not those tiny little young kids in primary schools!

I don't know wat abt the rest of you guys out there but for me I don't hv any problems mixing with malays when i was in primary school. but then when we go to form 1 after upsr, gosh, all my malay friends who r abit smarter all gone to dunno what sekolah agama lah, wat kolej lah.. The same case happen after pmr. What the hell... All my malay friends who are slightly above average all go to MRSM lah, here lah, there lah. N now after spm, they go matriculatio n lah, apply jpa wana go overseas lah..

so the problem is not primary school kids, n not vernacular schools. the problem is tat the smarter ones of their race got off to a so called "place of elites"! Well, although I did well enough in upsr to get a place in a well known secondary school as well, but that's not the problem. The problem arise again is after my pmr. my point here is: u wana unify us? Get rid of NEP. Get rid of wat 90% bumi quota. N we shall c wat happens. N not by creating such useless programs in the first place. How do you feel if all of a sudden ur buddies left you to go to an elite malay school n then brainwash by seniors there n therefore dun contact us again?