KUALA LUMPUR: Government-owned companies (GLCs), multinational companies (MNCs), foundations and elected representatives have been urged to play their part to resolve issues affecting the Home-based Teaching and Learning (PdPr) programme.
Dewan Negara People’s Well-being Committee Caucus chairman Senator Datuk Razali Idris said there are issues concerning unequal internet access and lack of technology devices for students and teachers, which burdened parents.
They mainly affect parents under the B40 (lower-income) and M40 (middle-income) groups who are badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The caucus strongly calls on GLCs and MNCs related to telecommunications to show solidarity by providing internet and smartphone packages at a reasonable price as well as unlimited data for internet access.
“Foundations and elected representatives must come forward to assist these target groups who are facing problems of poor internet access with regard to PdPr sessions,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
At the same time, Razali also urged the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to expedite the construction of telecommunications towers and intensify the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP).
He said the ministry should also mobilise logistics and internet supply vehicles to help areas with poor access to internet.
“On the other hand, the Education Ministry needs to speed up with the list or data to identify students who lack technology gadgets through the school database and the Parent-Teacher Association (PIBGs),” he added.
Based on the findings of a survey on Student Readiness for Online Learning conducted in mid-2020, more than 30 per cent or 280,000 students nationwide do not possess any electronic devices to follow PdPr sessions.
“The study involving 670,118 respondents who are parents to 893,331 students showed that six per cent have personal computers, laptops (9.3 per cent), tablets (5.8 per cent) and smartphones (46.5 per cent).”
Razali said the challenges of PdPr in national education must be addressed properly because it can affect the prospects of life and long-term social mobility as well as physical and mental health of a family.
“Therefore, an effort to enhance technology usage and narrow the digital gap between all levels of society must be made immediately. If not, the long-term effect will widen the disparity and cause more children to drop out,” he said. — Bernama