KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Education (MOE) is in the final stage of formulating a comprehensive implementation strategy to empower the country’s digital education, said Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin.
He said the matter was among the details stated in the 2021 Budget tabled by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on Friday, which also took into account the need for device ownership by students and internet access in schools across the country.
“MOE always strives to ensure that all students have equitable access to learning, regardless of their location or socioeconomic background. For students who do not have access to internet or appropriate devices, learning is implemented through TV Pendidikan’s TV Okey channel as well as Astro’s Tutor TV channels.
“Teachers have also been implementing teaching and learning through the delivery of learning materials to students, especially for students living in rural and remote areas,” he said in a written reply during the Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He said this in his reply to a question from Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen (PH-Bandar Kuching) who wanted to know the ministry’s plan to help students who do not have internet access and laptop facilities, especially in rural areas and the rationale for closing schools nationwide including those located in Covid-19 green areas as well as the postponement of public examinations.
On the rationale behind the nationwide school closure including those located in the Covid-19 green areas, Radzi said the decision was made based on data analysis on positive cases, close contact and quarantine among students, teachers and school staff which shows an increase during the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the states which were not placed under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
He said the MOE data showed that students’ attendance to school would be affected due to parents’ concerns about their children’s safety, whenever there were positive cases in an area even though it was located in states that, as a whole, did not record high number of Covid-19 positive cases.
“The school closure involved 1,087,803 students, 99,491 teachers and 20,438 members of the implementing group. This is a significant number in helping the Ministry of Health (MOH) and frontliners to curb the spread of Covid-19,” he said.
Radzi said the move was crucial in ensuring that the school session for 2021 could commence in a safe manner as planned.
He said the decision to amend the date of the public examinations was made after taking into account the teaching and learning (PdP) which had been affected since the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) from March to June.
“The significant increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases in the third wave and the recent implementation of CMCO has also affected students’ preparation for the examination. With the amendment of the public examination date, candidates will now have more time to make necessary preparations.
“Apart from that, it also gives the students more time to follow face-to-face learning when the school reopens,” he said. — Bernama