Importaance of Computer Awareness Program

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106 | Innovations in Non-Formal Education
An Innovative Approach to Adult Lifelong Learning:
An Adult Computer Literacy Training
Programme for Underserved Villagers
in Malaysia
I. Introduction
Continuing education for adults in Malaysia is an old tradition. Providers of continuing education programmes include various organizations such as government agencies, private companies and NGOs. Nevertheless, there is no particular system or structure that enables us to compile all these various programmes for the purpose of study and understanding. Furthermore, these programmes are seldom documented for use as models for others. Thus, in conjunction with the 1999 ARTC Technical Meeting held in Seoul and hosted by the Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), UNESCO PROAP undertook the task of presenting a number of innovative projects in its Member Countries including Malaysia. Consequently, the meeting agreed with the recommendation that Malaysia conduct a study on the implementation of a continuing education programme for underserved adults. The computer literacy training programme was selected for this study.

Development context and situational analysis
As a developing country, Malaysia consistently plans and implements development programmes through government agencies with the co-operation of the private sector and NGOs. The recent rapid expansion ofAn Innovative Approach to Adult Lifelong Learning: Malaysia | 107 information and communication technology (ICT) has important implications for all of these programmes. Thus Malaysia has embarked on the development of an ICT project through the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). The MSC, which was launched in 1998, provides the infrastructure, policies and practices for ICT related companies to develop more liberally and effectively. ICT development in Malaysia

The MSC is a catalyst for the development of an information society in Malaysia. Therefore, the nation’s development should be in tandem with the development of ICT in both urban and rural sectors. Without a balanced rural and urban ICT growth, the vision for Malaysia to be a developed country by the year 2020 will not become a reality. Malaysia’s Vision 2020, as described by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed in 1991, stresses the requirement of strong growth in the service sector to match growth in the manufacturing sector. Equitable growth in both sectors will increase productivity and improve the quality of life in Malaysia. Compared to other countries in the region, the current ICT growth in Malaysia is sluggish. For example, the Internet usage rate for Malaysians is currently at 6.9 per cent compared to 24 per cent in Singapore, 20.6 per cent in Taiwan, 36.2 per cent in Hong Kong, 29.6 per cent in Australia, and 34 per cent in Korea. Problem statement

Rural development in Malaysia requires sustained and exponential efforts. Innovative programmes must be effectively planned, implemented and evaluated. Without these efforts, the 52 per cent of the population who live in the rural areas will be left behind and marginalized in the development of the country. Comparably, ICT development in the rural areas lags far behind that of the urban areas in terms of infrastructure facilities, usage and education. Incidentally, accurate information on the status of ICT growth in rural areas is still not available. This is due to the lack of empirical studies and data compilation in this area despite the existence of ongoing ICT-related programmes for many years.

Specific objectives of the study
1.To describe the planning and implementation process of computer literacy training programmes or projects for underserved adults
2.To identify the demographic characteristics of participants in the computer literacy training programme 3.To describe the changes in knowledge, attitude and aspiration of the computer literacy training programme participants

Rationale and importance of the study
Efforts to reduce the income...
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