Raspberry Pi is in every primary school in Malaysia’s largest state

It’s really weird to think back to eleven years ago and the modest ambitions that Raspberry Pi founders Eben and Liz Upton had for a green, credit card-sized thing designed to get a few thousand more UK school children into computing. Fast forward to now, and we’re in every single primary school in Malaysia’s largest state.

Mulu Village School in Sarawak, the largest of Malaysia's 13 states
Mulu Village School in Sarawak, the largest of Malaysia’s 13 states

The setting for a challenge

Sarawak stretches along the northwest coast on the island of Borneo. While the capital, Kuching, is a bustling city, the state also features dense rainforest and beaches on the South China Sea. 1265 primary schools serve a population of around three million people. The local government wanted to level up the computer facilities consistently across them all; the solution had to be affordable, due to the number of schools needing equipment, and efficient enough to run with minimal intervention in rural areas.

The Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development turned to local Raspberry Pi Approved Reseller Cytron to develop a bespoke Raspberry Pi 4 kit.

Cytron’s bespoke kits

Each kit includes:

  • Raspberry Pi 4
  • Case
  • Monitor
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Pre-loaded SD card
  • Power supply and HDMI cable

They assembled and tested over 9400 computer kits before being distributing them to the state’s 1265 schools.

Classroom inside rural village school, Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state
A classroom inside a rural village school, Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia

To make sure even remote schools in internet blackspot areas could access the same level of learning, some of the kits were set up to act as internet-in-a-box offline servers, with content pre-loaded. The SD cards were also shipped with a bespoke version of Raspberry Pi OS, created by Cytron especially for local primary school users.

To support the schools to get the most out of their new hardware, the Ministry of Education has implemented a training programme. By the end of 2022, at least one teacher in every primary school throughout Sarawak had received an introduction to operating and maintaining their new computers, and further training is available this year and next.

Read Sarawak’s full success story

You’ll find more on the challenge presented to Cytron and the results across the region in our latest success story. Dr Hudyjaya Siswoyo Jo, master trainer in Sarawak’s Raspberry Pi primary school teacher training programme, and Malaysia’s Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong, have both expressed their satisfaction with the programme.

Global network of Approved Resellers

Dodging scalpers isn’t the only good reason to be familiar with our Approved Resellers. If you’re planning a larger-scale project like this one, they’re a great place to start: search for your local Approved Resellers and see whether they are in a position to give any advice or support. You can scroll through an alphabetical list of sellers or regions, or search by company name or by region, at raspberrypi.com/resellers.

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