KOTA KINABALU: Kapayan assemblywoman, Jannie Lasimbang has proposed that the teaching of all school subjects from primary to secondary school levels be recorded and broadcasted on TV and/or Radio Channels so students can study without the burden to buy additional gadgets.
Follow-up can then be done by class teachers through WhatsApp or email, she said.
“This would ease the burden of families who have several children and cannot afford to buy gadgets for each child to follow live facetime classes, since the 150,000 laptops promised by the federal government have not materialised,” she said.
Jannie also said that the online classes for primary and secondary schools which started nationwide on 20 January had caught many parents and students unprepared.
“Parents with several children complained to me that they are stressed out finding money to buy a laptop for each of their children because classes happens at the same time. They were also unable to assist their children to log on to the learning platforms as they lack the knowledge to do so, and the instructions given were not enough” Jannie said.
She also said that the Ministry of Education would also have to standardise its policy on attending classes including universities and colleges.
“Some universities have informed students that they have to be physically back in their institutions in February, while others can study online from home. Last year many Sabahan students studying in Peninsular Malaysia wasted money travelling back to their institutions only to be told that classes would be conducted online.”
SPM and STPM students who have returned to school and will be taking their final exams soon have raised their voices online too.
The social media hashtag #SuaraPelajar has gone viral, and students shared their frustrations and concerns for their health, education and future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Students are depressed about the exams that they are about to face as they felt the did not have sufficient classes and preparations, and with the rising number of positive cases daily, these are causing mental health issues. Many feel it is unfair if the Ministry of Education pursues the holding of examinations simply to fulfil the scheduled timelines without reviewing all concerns. A more flexible solution should be explored, especially for those who are in a disadvantageous position like students in Sabah’s rural areas who do not have internet connections and those without the necessary devices to follow online classes,” said Jannie.