Malaysian Textbook Reader

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Malaysian Textbook Reader


I have already proposed to the sugar team to improve its textbook importation procedures because it is vital for the success of OLPC.

One weakness of the OLPC project is that it appears to be a project to learn about OLPC, instead of an educational tool to learn all knowledge that may be useful for each community.

That body of knowledge is in the textbooks that are provided to students in the community. Students are required to learn based on these textbooks so that they master the required knowledge and skills in order to survive better in their environment.

Learning about computers with OLPC as an example is a good idea but not the most important idea. Based on interviews with teachers in Ethiopeia, it is obvious that OLPC should be used only as a tool to help students to learn.

In the Ethiopeaian project, teachers prepare educational materials themselves. That is a tedious process and requires a lot of training for the teachers. Instead of students learning OLPC, it is the teachers that are busy.

One criticism by teachers is that OLPC is an expensive tool for poor nations. When students can't even afford pencils, how are we to supply them with OLPCs. Actually the answer is very simple. OLPC can reduce the cost of learning because it will substitute textbooks, pencils and even shirts.

Textbooks are the most expensive item in any educational system. It is also the easiest to implement using OLPC. Once this is implemented, students don't need shirts any more because they don't need to go to school. They just learn at home.

Malaysian may be a strange place to propose for OLPC but Sabah, despite being rich in Petroleum is among the poorest in the whole world. Poorer than even the Ethiopeian schools that I watched on youtube where the OLPC projects were conducted.

A good thing about the Malaysian government is that they give textbooks for free but not shirts and shoes so many don't go to school. In fact there are too many textbooks to carry in a day that it is very difficult for young bodies to carry for miles when they have to walk to school.

In order to encourage students to go to school, we should lighten the burden for the students. OLPC can offer such help because digitised textbooks are much lighter than printed textbooks.

Future developments

This project is only the beginning. In order to reduce the cost of learning we can introduce more tools in support of the national curriculum.

Educational Department Software

We are now in the stage of proving that OLPC can execute the educational software for students developed by the Malaysian educational department.

Exercise books

Malaysian need to buy for themselves exercise books. It is a burden to them and OLPC can substitute them very easily.


OLPC can run simulation software such as SPICE for Electrical circuits and even mathematical labs using CAS.


This project is supposed to have been approved in principle but I am requried to setup a wiki page. The format is not known but let us hope that the moderators are happy with what I have put up so far.

This section will be dedicated to keeping track of the status of this project.

OLPC loan request format

Below is the format that I had used to propose for this project. It was approved on condition that I set up a Wiki page so here it is.

1. Malaysian Primary School Text Book Reader

Name of Project: Malaysian Primary School Text Book Reader

Shipping Address You've Verified:

· ********





· TEL: **********

· Othman bin Ahmad

Number of Laptops (or other hardware) You Request to Borrow: 1

Loan Length—How Many Months: 6 months 2. Team Participants (In list form)

Name(s) & Contact Info: (include email addresses & phone numbers)

Othman bin Ahmad email: ********

Employer and/or School: Telekom Malaysia Berhad

Past Experience/Qualifications: Designing dan buiding single board computer, setting up 386 BSD networking system, Panoramic picture stitching, Flight simulator aircraft modelling and scenery generations, Designing a Dbase II and IV systems, Tikiwiki SQL pHP webhosting setup ; Telecom Engineer since 1981, Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University for 3 years. BSc(Hons)(Electronic Engineering) and MSc(IT) 3. Objectives

Project Objectives:

Malaysian primay schools students had to carry more than 5 text books as well associated exercise books and water botles to school. Our students are small in size and these text books are large for their size. These students will find it a burden to carry all these school items. Many parents have complained to the Education Ministry in order to find efforts to improve the school time table in order to reduce the number of books to be taken to school every day but the same problem remains.

The main objective is therefore to use the OLPC as a primary source of all the textbooks. Its light weight, large and readable screen and ruggedness will make it suitable for Malaysian primary school students to use instead of the heavy text books. It will be used as a demonstration model to show to the Malaysian Ministry of Education to convince them to replace all text books to the OLPC.

4. Plan of Action

Phase 1: OLPC

Learning about the OLPC

Phase 2: TOOLS

Setting up development tools


Scanning a sample text book.

Phase 4: TESTING

Testing and choosing suitable viewers for the scanned images.


Make some modifications to available viewers to make them more suitable for the OLPC and Malaysian primary school environment.


Documentation and demonstration preparations. 5. Needs (A few sentences)

The Malaysian government provides lots of money in lending text books to students. This money can be diverted to providing OLPCs that can replace text books more efficiently while providing more educational values.

The OLPC/Suger environment will be given the opportunity to demonstrate its power in providing the main source of information vital to students, i.e. text books, to the Malaysian Government. Hopefully it will encourage other communities to emulate the Malaysian experience.

Why can't this project be done in emulation using non-XO machines?

The most important focus of this project is to demonstrate to the Ministry officials as well as educators the power of OLPCs over conventional text books.. We cannot convince them if we are to use only emulators since we need to know its portability and lightness in order to evaluate its functionality.

Why are you requesting the number of machines you are asking for?

One should be sufficient.

Will you consider (1) salvaged/rebuilt or (2) damaged XO Laptops? We need an OLPC which is in reliable and clean in order to make a good impression on their evaluators. 6. Sharing Deliverables (A few sentences)

Project URL:

Please web-publish this entire completed proposal, removing any sections affecting your personal privacy. Ask if you want help!

How will you convey tentative ideas & results back to the OLPC/Sugar community, prior to completion?

Email reports.

How will the final fruits of your labor be distributed to children or community members worldwide?

It should be copyrighted under the GNU or equivalent so that it can be provided free of charge to participants of the OLPC or related projects.

Will your work have any possible application or use outside our community?

Yes. It is just an ebook reader optimised for a particular text book format.

If yes, how will these people be reached?

Have you investigated working with nearby XO Lending Libraries or Project Groups? 7. Quality/Mentoring (Can be a bulleted list)

Would your Project benefit from Support, Documentation and/or Testing people?


Teachers' input into Usability?


How will you promote your work?

By emailing to the relevant people.

Can we help you with an experienced mentor from the OLPC/Sugar community?

Yes, from OLPC coordinators in Malaysia such as Mohd Lazim.

If YES: specify the kind of Ongoing Mentoring that will benefit you most.

If NO: specify who will help you share your progress, creations & results. 8. Timeline (Show start to finish)

Month 1: Phase 1 OLPC

Month 2: Phase 2 TOOLS

Month 3: Phase 3 DIGITISING

Month 4: Phase 4 TESTING

Month 5: Phase 5 MODIFYING

Month 6: Phase 6 DOCUMENTATION

Please include a Proposed timeline for your Project life-cycle: (this can be in the form of Month 1, Month 2, etc rather than specific dates)

Include a couple milestones, even if tentative.

Specify how you prefer to communicate your ongoing progress and obstacles!

[ X] I agree to pass on the laptop(s) to a local OLPC group or other interested contributors in case I do not have need for the laptop(s) anymore or in case my project progress stalls.