Selangor Journal
A student washes his hands as soon as he arrives at the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen in Kangar, Perlis, on June 24, 2020. — Picture by BERNAMA

Limited internet access, lack of devices continue to shackle home-based learning

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — The implementation of home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) is seen as the best option for school students right now, following the spike in Covid-19 positive cases in the country.

However, based on its previous implementation, there are some issues that must be given due attention to ensure that all students can participate and no one will be missing out.

Poor Internet access and the lack of devices are the major issues that need to be addressed in order to embrace the new normal of teaching and learning which replaces face-to-face classes.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan Huat Hock suggested that the government give emphasis on efforts to provide reliable Internet access and digital devices for students.

“The government can also provide a ‘Tax Holiday’ and tax exemption for parents to purchase devices for their children,” he said when contacted by Bernama TV today.

Tan said in fact, such issues which could also affect the effectiveness of PdPR especially among the less fortunate students, have been raised for several times.

Yesterday, the Education Ministry said that all primary pupils and students from Form 1 to Form 5 would follow PdPR according to the suitability of teachers and students from January 20.

The ministry said the face-to-face school sessions, commencing Jan 20, for the whole country would only involve students sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM), and Malaysian Vocational Diploma (DVM) as well as equivalent international examinations last year.

Tan said the government could also forge collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector to get funds to help the less fortunate to purchase devices or gadgets.

On the PdPR weaknesses which include students being less motivated as there is no physical presence of the teachers and poor time management, he said the cooperation of all parties is needed to make it a success.

Tan said the NUTP had also received suggestions for PdPR to be implemented after working hours but it would have to be agreed upon by all parties.

He also opined that formal training for teachers should be provided to ensure virtual learning delivery process effectiveness.

Meanwhile, National Association of Parents and Teachers Association (PIBGN) president Datuk Mohamad Ali Hassan suggested that the setting up of a PdPR reference centre in every state education department (JPN), district education office (PPD).

“It can serve as a one-stop centre to address any problems and challenges faced by teachers and students,” he said adding all parties should also give their full commitment to ensure all students would have an effective learning experience.

— Bernama

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Editor Selangor Journal