Move to boost innovative thinking among youth
Autodesk software will be available to all schools in stages
EFFORTS are being made to ensure all students and public schools in Malaysia will have access to software from US-based design and animation specialist Autodesk Inc, a move aimed at cultivating innovation among youth. Previously, free Autodesk software was only available to students of public higher learning institutions.
“Through my ministry, Pretariang Bhd in collaboration with Autodesk will now make the software accessible at no cost to all students and public schools,” Idris Jusoh, Second Education Minister, said in Putrajaya on June 10.
“With this, I urge all schools and their faculty members to take this opportunity to integrate Autodesk technology into their classrooms as part of the pedagogy to build the future generation of innovators for the country,” he added.
San Rafael, California-based Autodesk first came to fame for its computer-aided (CAD) software for the architecture, engineering, construction and manufacturing industries, but is even more famous these days for its animation and special effects software for the media and entertainment industries.
It has had a long run of successes in seeing movies made with its software winning Academy Awards for best visual or special effects.
According to Autodesk Asia Pte Lte country manager (Malaysia) C.S. Tan, students who download the software will have access to it for free over a three-year period.
The “Free Autodesk” programme comes in two parts, he said. The first involves providing free software for all students. The free software can be downloaded from http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/all.
The second part involves providing free software to primary and secondary school labs. It does not include labs in colleges and universities.
“On the first part, students can download it immediately. However, on the second part, we will definitely roll it out in stages,” said Tan.
Prestariang Bhd chief executive officer Dr Abu Hasan Ismail said that it is hard to determine when all schools can be equipped with the free software, as not all have the IT infrastructure.
“It is something that we have to work closely on with Autodesk and the ministry,” he said.
The move by the Education Ministry and the two ICT companies may also help in boosting Malaysia’s ranking as a “nation of innovators."
Based on the Global Innovation Index (GII) compiled by INSEAD, Malaysia’s ranking remained unchanged at 32 in 2013, behind Switzerland (1), Sweden (2), the United Kingdom (3), the Netherlands (4), the United States (5), Finland (6), Hong Kong (7), Singapore (8), Denmark (9), Malta (24), Estonia (25), Spain (26), Cyprus (27) and Slovenia (30), among others.
Malaysia is however ahead of Portugal (34), China (35), Thailand (57), and other countries. Yemen ranks last at 142.
Prior to the press conference, Idris witnessed the awarding of the UniMy Global Industry Partners Scholarship (GIPS) by Dell, Microsoft, Huawei, IBM and Autodesk to 11 high performing students. The minister also launched the Autodesk Malaysia Design Competition (AMDC) 2014.
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