‘WhatsApp a great app to foster closer ties between students, parents and teachers’


MIRI: The WhatsApp platform is one of the best applications for both parents and teachers to communicate with one another, especially to discuss the children’s studies and progress, school activities and other related events or happenings at school.

According to National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Sarawak chairman Datuk Wan Zain Syed Mohdzar, it is suggested that each class in school should have its own WhatsApp group – the members should also comprise parents of the children, with the class teacher holding the role of group administrator.

In stating this, however, he said having each class to set up its own WhatsApp group was not compulsory.

“In fact, most of such groups derive from the initiative by the class teachers themselves to keep parents updated on what is happening in class.

“The school can use this platform to relay any information related to the school, the student’s subjects as well as the school activities to parents, as fast as possible,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Most importantly, he said as the administrator, the class teacher must be wise in handling the WhatsApp group and ensure that it would only be used for its intended purposes.

“The administrator must control the group to make sure that only relevant information is being posted – the channel must not be used by the parents or the teachers to market any product, or post sensitive topics or issues that have nothing to do with the school or the students,” he stressed, adding that applications such as WhatsApp is also cost-effective in relaying simple matters compared with issuing letters to parents, which would involve cost for stamps and envelopes, apart from it being time consuming.

He viewed online messaging applications as not only fast, but also there is no limit as to the number of messages being sent.

“Such applications can close the communication gap and foster closer ties between the school, teachers and parents,” he said.

He added that in this modern era, everybody must take advantage of all these online messaging applications to communicate as well as to exchange positive ideas, views and comments for the benefit of members in the messaging group.

Wan Zain also said to ensure that the WhatsApp group is being utilised accordingly, the administrator should remove anyone who violates the rules set for the group, such as posting irrelevant messages or images on the channel.

Nevertheless, Wan Zain acknowledged a downside of this usage – not all parents are IT-literate and have smartphones, or even afford to have online data all the time.