SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TELECENTRE AND LIFELONG LEARNING FOR RURAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: A MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCE
Telecentres in the 21st century may be able to improve standard of living, quality of life, and stability of knowledge for the rural population. The role of telecentres is widely increasing in developing political and management awareness, economic, socio-culture, technology, education and regulation awareness in rural communities. Telecentres in this context is a premise or a centre of information and communications technology (ICT) for rural residents to obtain information and knowledge. The major role of telecentre is to bridge the digital divide and socio-economic gap between rural and urban population. Telecentre is also a centre of lifelong learning activities for the rural population to seek formal and informal knowledge. This paper is intended to demonstrate the development of telecentre experiences in Malaysia that focuses on scholarly activities through lifelong learning of the rural population. The scope of discussion depicts the seven routes of informal symbiosis between lifelong learning with the telecentres that gave positive impact on rural development in Malaysia. The discussion is based on the discourse and experience of telecentre development in Malaysia.