DEC4IR 2021 – A Platform to Foster the Minds and Creativity of Students through the Applications of Drone Technology in Education

JOHOR BAHRU – Drone Edu Challenge 4.0 Industrial Revolution (DEC4IR) is back in 2021 with more exciting and interesting content to encourage school students to use drone technology in education.

The DEC4IR program is implemented to teach drone technology, which is also an essential component of the Science, Technology, Engineering dan Mathematics STEM co-curriculum. Following the shutdown of the education sector to combat the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DEC4IR program was conducted fully online on 9 September 2021 to further enhance the current teaching and learning experience for students.

DEC4IR is a collaboration between lecturers of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), the Education Resources and Technology Division (BSTP), Ministry of Education (MOE), the Johor State Education Department (JPNJ), and the Drone & Robotic Zone (DRZ), and coordinated by the Johor State Education Department (JPNJ).

Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) and other strategic partners such as Malaysia Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC), ARCHIDRONE Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Air Youth Club (KRUM) have contributed to DEC4IR’s success.

The program, which is the result of a synergy between UTM, MOE and IIB, requires the participants to think creatively through three competition screenings to qualify for the final stage. Interestingly, those who make it to the final round will receive a free set of drones to enable them to solve problems with drone programming by giving the programming code in the form of videos and online interviews.

Program director, Ts. Dr Jaysuman Pusppanathan stated that up to now, about 3,000 students covering secondary schools (upper and lower), primary schools (levels 1 and 2) and special education (secondary and primary schools) from 536 schools across Malaysia had registered to be participants since registration opened in June 2021.

The program was successfully launched by the Director-General of Education Malaysia, the Honourable Datin Sri Hajah Nor Zamani binti Abdol Hamid, through the online platform today.  In her speech, she said, “MOE is very committed to playing a role and bearing responsibility in the implementation of the Digital Education Policy. Through the DEC4IR program, students’ digital literacy competencies and skills can be built and nourished. At the same time, for the sake of national progress, students who are competitive in the technological progress of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be born”

Also present was the Vice-Chancellor of UTM, Y.Bhg. Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr Ahmad Fauzi bin Ismail, President & Chief Executive Officer of IIB, YBhg. Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar bin Ahmad, Director of Educational Resources and Technology Division MOE, YBrs. Puan Maznah binti Abu Bakar and the Deputy Director of the Learning Sector of the Johor State Education Department (JPNJ), Y. Brs. Tuan Haji Shahilon bin Abd Halim.

UTM Vice-Chancellor, Prof Datuk Ts Dr Ahmad Fauzi bin Ismail said, UTM strongly encourage any quadruple helix initiatives by uniting government agencies, the industry and the community through the implementation of various academic programs, research and innovation to ensure all parties benefit such as DEC4IR program.

Datuk Ir. Khairil Anwar bin Ahmad, who is also an Adjunct Professor of UTM in his speech said, as the strategic developer of Iskandar Puteri that is responsible to spearhead the development in Medini, IIB is committed in supporting local talent development initiatives in digital technology such as drones, robotics and innovation to produce more young talent, thus creating various opportunities and jobs. This is in line with the government’s aspiration to make Johor as an engine of growth, a leader in technology and a talent development hub in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region.

During the launching ceremony, Dr Jaysuman also announced the preliminary screening results to all participants which can be watched live via the program’s official YouTube. The winners will be announced in December, and they will have the opportunity to take home prizes in the form of cash and drone kits.