Tuesday, July 5

Kampung Wi-Fi project a boon for teachers

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SIBU: Hamdi Najdi who teaches at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Kampung Bahagia Jaya, Jalan Teku, near here believes he has been able to improve delivery in class since last year.

This is because the school, which has an enrolment of 500 students and 40 teachers, has been enjoying ‘wireless-fidelity’ (Wi-Fi) broadband service after Kampung Bahagia Jaya was selected to be Sarawak’s first Wi-Fi kampung in May last year.

Hamdi, who is also the senior assistant for student affairs, said teachers and students at it now could access the Internet with ease.

The service was provided by the Malaysian Communications and Multi-Media Commission (MCMC) through a public-private sector initiative that involved expertise from Pernec Paypoint Sdn Bhd. With the service now available, Hamdi said the teachers could access the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) online which enabled uploading/downloading of data electrionically.

“Now, everything is at one’s fingertips. Teachers can find information fast, follow the latest developments in the education field and avail learning aids to improve students’ performance.

“Besides this, the project has also brought Internet and ICT facilities to the doorsteps of locals,” he told Bernama here yesterday.

The project was launched by Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

There are 500-odd families in the kampung.

Meanwhile, the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman Jamilah Dolah said the project was well received by the people in Kampung Bahagia Jaya especially the youths.

She said the PTA planned to build a Wi-Fi kiosk within the coverage range to enable the kampung’s residents to access the facility more easily.

“At present, because of the limited coverage range, many of the residents gather outside the school’s gates late in the afternoon and evenings to enjoy the facility,” she said.

She urged MCMC to extend the radius of the Wi-Fi coverage so as to make it convenient for the residents to enjoy the facility.

Besides Kampung Bahagian Jaya, four similar projects have been implemented in Sarawak – Rumah Panjang Guntol and Rumah Changgan in Julau, Kampung Bunga Raya and Nanga Mendamit in Limbang.

The initiative is an effort by the government to produce a knowledgeable society and bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas.

Last week, speaking in Kuala Klawang, Negeri Sembilan, Rais said the government would expedite Kampung Wi-Fi projects following the initial projects being hugely successful.

Meanwhile, Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said the high-speed broadband penetration rate in Malaysia stood at 57 per cent early this month and was projected to reach 60 per cent by the end of the year. — Bernama