Microsoft M'sia takes anti-piracy message to schools

Microsoft Malaysia aims to get all 9,000 primary and secondary schools in the country to participate in its “Get Real” campaign, its latest anti-piracy initiative.

SUBANG JAYA (In.Tech)-- Microsoft Malaysia aims to get all 9,000 primary and secondary schools in the country to participate in its “Get Real” campaign, its latest anti-piracy initiative.

The campaign initiative will focus on educating schools and students on the value and importance of intellectual property rights protection.

However, Microsoft Malaysia managing director Butt Wai Choon said the company could not specify when it would be able to cover all 9,000 schools.

“Let’s be realistic … we’re talking about a huge number here,” he said at the recent “Get Real” kickoff, which saw the first batch of six schools singing a “Say No To Piracy” pledge.

The schools were SM Pokok Sena, Sekolah Sri Garden, SK Gombak Setia, SK Paya Rumput, SM Sains Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Pekan and SK Taman Tun Ismail.

Joining them in signing the pledge, representing the Malaysian government, was Education Ministry deputy Director-General Rashdi Ramlan.

“The government believes it is important that Malaysians start to understand the value of intellectual property rights at a young age, so the concept will become part of their values system,” he said.

He said the campaign would also help them understand that a solid legislative framework and enforcement to protect intellectual property rights is imperative for building a knowledge-based economy and a thriving local software developer community.

As an incentive to schools that sign the “Say No To Piracy” pledge, Microsoft will sell its latest Office XP suite to them and their students at a special price of RM129, compared to the regular retail price of RM569.

Office XP, the latest version of the company’s flagship business and productivity suite, comprises a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, website builder and other applications which students typically use in their learning process, said Butt.

In addition, the company is “open to any suggestion” from the Ministry or schools on what other software they may require for their educational efforts, he said, adding that these products will be offered at discounts as well.

Microsoft Malaysia also plans to extend the campaign to the tertiary level soon, Butt said, without giving any details.

The “Get Real” initiative will include “fun activities” in schools as well, Microsoft Malaysia said. Over the next 12 months, the company will hold two new competitions as part of its yearly Whiz Generation programme.

With the theme “Protection of Intellectual Property Rights”, primary students will be invited to design a board- or word-game, while secondary students will have to “develop and market their business” on the Web.

Both competitions will be announced within the next two months.

Whiz Generation is an educational programme to encourage more interactive involvement and participation from students and teachers in using information technology tools in their learning and teaching.

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