Students read textbooks on notebook PCs at Guil Elementary School in Seoul on Wednesday. (Photo/Yonhap)

South Korea schools set to phase out the use of bulky textbooks from classrooms in favor of sleek, lighter and interactive digital textbook by 2015 according to the country media report.

South Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will be investing South Korean Won W2.2 trillion (RM6.2 billion) for the switch from paperback to digital textbooks, reported The Chosunilbo.

The digital textbooks contents will be similar to the textbooks currently being used in the country, except that it will be more interactive with multimedia references.

Instead of being installed on student’s pc or tablet the digital textbook will be hosted on the cloud, making it easily accessible to students in their classroom or at home.

“It will be up to schools to decide which digital textbooks to choose for students in what year in what subject,” a ministry official said.

“We don’t expect the shift to digital textbooks to be difficult as students today are very accustomed to the digital environment.”

The ministry also wants to push for online classes for some subjects that would allow students who have to miss classes to catch up.

Those students will get their online hours recognized as attendance.

The virtual textbook will also allow students who for example need long-term hospital care due to serious illness to substitute classroom attendance with online classes.

South Korea already claims the world’s fastest Internet connections — the fastest globally by far — likely to make the migration from paper textbook to digital one seamlessly effortless.

By the end of 2012, South Korea intends to connect every home in the country to the Internet at one gigabit per second. That would be a tenfold increase from the already blazing national standard and more than 200 times as fast as the average household setup in the United States.