The 2021-2030 Medium- and Long-term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education refers to the term “educational technology;” however, the term is not defined. The plan also refers to technology in education as “smart education.”
The term “Information Technology” is most commonly used by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ). The DSEJ also uses terminology such as “home learning” to describe distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither of those terms are defined, however.
Constitution and laws: The 1993 Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macao states that “Macao Special Administrative Region promotes compulsory education” (art.121) and “in accordance with needs and possibilities, the subsidy policy previously applied in Macao to popular organizations, namely in the fields of education, science, technology, culture, sports, recreation, medicine and health, social assistance and social work” (art.132).
The 2006 Fundamental Law of Non-Tertiary Education No.9 mentions that the objectives of secondary education include “Promoting mastery of knowledge in various areas of life, to increase the ability to use languages, knowledge of information technologies and other areas of knowledge in everyday life” (art.9) and promoting “the ability to collect, process and analyze data and increase, to a greater extent, the ability to use information technologies, creating habits of self-learning and group learning, with a view to their permanent personal development” (art.10).
Policies, plans and strategies: The 2021-2030 Medium- and Long-term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education policy document is the blueprint for the development of education for ten years that includes "strengthening creativity and technology education" as one of the four developmental directions. The policy aims to “elevate students' disciplinary capacities of different fields, interdisciplinary competence and technological application abilities, as well as comprehensively improve their competencies and competitiveness” and “technological innovation capabilities”. The plan aims for a “Smart Education” system. Strategies include building a smart campus, promoting smart education on this basis by developing AI-based education; using more technologies in teaching to provide personalised and accurate education to students, and increasing learning motivation and the effectiveness of learning and teaching; to gradually achieve the objective of student-centred teaching according to students' aptitude, and at the same time, cultivate the AI knowledge that students need for the future.”
The serves as a platform for sharing and exchanging resources, aimed at promoting the effective development of information technology education in non-tertiary education in Macao. The website has a section that offers detailed guidance on how to plan and develop schools in the context of educational technology, including information on the overall direction of development, the Education Fund and its subsidy regulations and guidelines. It also provides reference materials for the use of Information Technology (IT) items and environmental protection, such as the "Implementation Plan for Comprehensive Prevention and Control of Myopia in Children and Adolescents" from the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, relevant guidelines from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), and the "Prevention of Misuse of Electronic Screen Products Children's Edition" from the Macau Health Bureau.
Digital competency frameworks: No information has been found.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: According to the 2021 Yearbook, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) collaborated with education stakeholders, such as educational organizations, schools, teachers, and parents, to provide specific guidelines and support for distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures included setting up a thematic website and a guidance hotline for students, as well as adjusting teacher and student learning and exchange programmes that were affected by the pandemic. These measures were taken in line with the Macao government's overall epidemic prevention policy to ensure the safety and well-being of students and teachers while maintaining educational continuity. During July 2020, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) conducted six working meetings to discuss the "School Operations Guide" for the 2020/2021 academic year. The meetings aimed to guide the "Notes for Schools in the 2020/2021 School Year" and instructed schools to prepare for class suspension and provide support measures accordingly. “As the coronavirus situation stabilised, secondary students and primary and kindergarten pupils resumed classes in phases from 4 May to 1 June”.
In a notice published by the DSEJ in 2021, schools can decide on home learning arrangements in severe weather such as a typhoon, heavy rain, or an epidemic.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: Electricity rates are fixed through decrees. The 1991 Decree-Law No. 43/91/M states that permanent and continuous electricity is supplied to consumers through a concessionaire who is in charge of the public service of production, import, export, transport, distribution and sale of electricity in Macau.
Computers and devices: Macao offers subsidies for disadvantaged students for school supplies but no specific reference was made for the purchase of technological devices.
Internet connectivity: The 2022 Macao Yearly Book mentions that the Directorate of Postal and Telecommunications Services authorized qualified internet service providers in 2017 to install free Wi-Fi access points in public spaces. To expand the coverage of free Wi-Fi, the "FreeWiFi.MO" service plan was launched in December of the same year, encouraging Macao institutions to provide free Wi-Fi services to the public and tourists. The plan received support and participation from various service providers, such as internet companies, government agencies, hotels, hospitals, shopping centers, banks, radio taxi services, public utility organizations, and the catering sector. As of the end of 2021, a total of 591 free wireless broadband internet access points had been installed. Though it does not explicitly mention schools.
The 2021-2030 Medium- and Long-term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education refers to “smart campuses” which include the provision of the Internet to schools.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
Policies setting or enhancing learning and teaching platforms high are included in the 2021-2030 Medium- and Long-term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education which mentions that the aim is to “build a smart campus, gradually develop smart education, and create conditions for schools to use technologies to help achieve the goals of teaching students according to their aptitude, carrying out personalised learning, as well as supporting teaching innovation” to “develop AI-based education; to use more technologies in teaching to provide personalised and accurate education to students, and to increase learning motivation and the effectiveness of learning and teaching; to gradually achieve the objective of student-centred teaching according to students' aptitude, and at the same time, cultivate the AI knowledge that students need for the future”. It also aims to “make good use of various online platforms to strengthen interaction and communication between schools and the government, as well as between schools, students and parents”.
As a COVID-19 response plan, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ). The DSEJ set up a thematic webpage called “Joining Hands in Fighting the Epidemic, Learning Easily at Home” which provided educational content on epidemic prevention, health education, language learning, and environmental protection, as well as learning platforms and tools for teachers to use with their students. In 2020, the DSEDJ launched a smart campus service platform for schools to carry out online teaching.
Additionally, the DSEJ has taken measures to address students' mental health needs during the pandemic. They collaborated with nine counselling service institutions to set up counselling hotlines for students and provided funding for two Portuguese schools to hire school counsellors to support students during class suspensions. The DSEJ also collaborated with nine counselling organisations that were subsidised to provide continuous psychological support and counselling hotline services to students through online platforms and mobile applications. The DSEJ also launched a student counselling service webpage called “Walking Together during the Epidemic, Staying Calm and Fearless”, which provides information and tips for students and parents to manage stress and anxiety during the pandemic. The DSEJ also collaborated with nine counselling organisations that were subsidised to provide continuous psychological support and counselling hotline services to students through online platforms and mobile applications such as WeChat and Instagram.
According to the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau’s (DSEJ) 1999 Curriculum Outline, Information Technology is included in the curriculum framework from the primary level onwards. Information Technology is a standalone subject which is part of the learning area, “Science and Scientific Technology.”The 2005 Requirements of Basic Academic Attainments Administrative Regulation No.10 included “, Information Technology” as a basic requirement for students.
The 2021-2030 Medium- and Long-term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education policy states that Macao aims “to review the curricula of some subjects like mathematics, natural science, and IT; to develop interdisciplinary courses of integrated application, to cultivate students' skills in innovation and creation, inquisitive spirit, network information literacy” and to optimize “popular science and technology competition activities”. The plan suggests that science and technology should be integrated into all the different subject contents and teaching methods so that students can gain a better grasp of the interdisciplinary topic.
The policy’s objectives include the emphasis on “the cultivation of students' practical competencies and their ability to apply knowledge to solve problems so that students can meet the needs of future society in terms of knowledge and skills”. Necessary skills include “good network information literacy, including the use of computer network resources, the ability to discriminate among network information, cyberspace behaviour norms, and cyberspace morality.”
In the Official Portal of DSEDJ, schools are encouraged to employ an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, such as STEM/STEAM/STREAM, to help students acquire knowledge independently by conducting research, solving problems, and utilizing information technology to put their solutions into action. Though no information has been found on the inclusion of girls in STEM education.
According to the 2015 Law on “The Requirements of Basic Academic Attainments” and the Basic Academic Attainments set by the DSEJ, goals for Information Technologies at the primary level include: Enabling students to acquire basic knowledge and skills relating to information technology; Cultivating students’ ability to effectively solve problems encountered in their daily life and learning by using information technology; Leading students to use information technology as a means of their learning, information sharing and communications, and improve their cooperative and communicative abilities; Inspiring students’ thinking, imagination and creativity; Fostering students’ initiative to learn through information technology; Nurturing students’ attitude and values on applying information technology correctly; and Guiding students to take note of the development of information technology as well as other major issues in the social life of human beings. Example skills include being able to use technology to search online and communicate with others.
At the senior secondary level, goals include: Develop students' understanding of fundamental concepts and principles of information technology and its societal impact; Nurture students' proficiency in using information technology independently or collaboratively; Guide students in gaining diverse practical experience with information technology applications, including the latest advancements; Foster lifelong learning habits through digital learning, promoting healthy technology use and autonomous/cooperative learning; Cultivate problem-solving skills by applying information technology, enhancing logical, computational, and critical thinking abilities; Instill understanding of scientific and technological thinking, such as digitalization, networking, intelligence, security, and optimization of information technology, improving quality of life and learning effectiveness; Encourage active participation in social practices involving information technology, experiencing technologies like computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD and CAM), 3D printing, and understanding the culture of the information society; and Promote awareness of the latest developments in information technology, evaluating their societal impacts, and fostering a responsible approach to its usage. Example skills include having computer programming languages knowledge as well as being able to use advanced information technology systems such as digital design and production.
The 2021-2030 Medium- and Long-term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education policy states that “teachers should be encouraged to adapt to the educational changes in the new informatisation era and to make good use of science and technology to optimise teaching”. The aim is to provide teachers with training and skills related to creativity and smart education “enabling them to adapt to future teaching requirements.” Additionally, emphasis is placed on “incorporating science and technology into subject matter and teaching techniques to improve teaching quality and promote professional development among teachers “to train teachers to learn new educational technologies and skills, focusing on the integration of technologies into subject contents and teaching methods”.
The government provides both initial/in-service training programmes for digital skills, which are available for registration through its official portal. In the 2020/2021 school year, more than 75 teacher training sessions were held for the smart campus service platform. The DSEDJ also provides support groups for the smart campus service platform, including the "Smart Campus Administrator Support Group" and "Smart Campus Teacher Support Group". To offer technical and user support services to schools, students, and parents, a user manual, online training, answering questions on the phone etc. are provided. The "Curriculum and Teaching Resources Network" also pools together the existing resources and contains high-quality online teaching resources.
In addition to that, the Smart Campus Wecom Teacher Training document introduces and trains teachers on WeCom which is a mobile application that offers a range of features and office automation (OA) tools, communication functions, such as single or group chats, acknowledgements, and multi-person calls, which make it easy to send messages, notifications, and announcements. For teachers and students, WeCom provides basic teaching tools, such as live online teaching, assignment and homework uploads, and timetable viewing, all of which can be easily accessed and utilized through the app.
2.4.1. Data privacy
The 2005 Personal Data Protection Act No.8 (PDPA) is the main legislation governing the collection, use, and protection of personal data in Macau. The PDPA applies to all data processing activities carried out by public and private entities, including both automated and non-automated processing of personal data. Though no information has been found in the context of education.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2021-2030 Medium- and Long-term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education states that equipping students with an inquisitive spirit and promoting good network information literacy, including the ability to effectively use computer network resources, discern among network information, adhere to cyberspace behaviour norms, and maintain cyberspace morality, is necessary to foster technological application skills and cultivate creativity and computational thinking.
According to article 121 of the 1993 Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macao, the Special Administrative Region's government has the authority to establish and enforce education policies, which encompass areas such as the education system, assessment procedures, and the recognition of academic achievements. These policies are designed to guide the development of education in the region. While the government is responsible for setting these policies, social organizations and individuals can also promote educational initiatives in accordance with the law.
According to the 2021 Yearbook, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) is the government department responsible for overseeing all education, both public and private, in Macau from pre-primary to upper secondary level. The DSEJ has separate divisions (with separate divisions for each level), including pre-primary, primary, secondary, and vocational education. The responsibilities of the DSEJ include setting educational policies, developing curricula, monitoring and evaluating the quality of education, providing teacher training and professional development, and managing the allocation of resources and funding for education. It aims to “promote and coordinate local, regional and international cooperation in education, encourage and support cultural, scientific and technological exchanges”. The DSEJ has an Information Technology in Education sector which is in charge of the development of "Smart Education", especially in the areas of "Smart Campus", "Smart Teaching", and "Artificial Intelligence Education".
According to a study conducted by the DSEJ on ICT implementation in schools, teacher awareness about ICT integration in education comes from a regional level.
No legislation has been found concerning the role of schools, particularly concerning their authority to ban mobile phones.