Digital gap truly exists for rural students

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digital gap rural students Minister of Education, Mohd Radzi Md Jidin. PIX: AFFAN FAUZI / MalaysiaGaztte / 29 AUGUST 2019.
Minister of Education, Mohd Radzi Md Jidin. PIX: AFFAN FAUZI / MalaysiaGaztte / 29 AUGUST 2019.

By Mohd Zaini Samsu Hadi

KUALA LUMPUR – There was a digital gap among students from the rural areas to access online classes during the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO).

Senior Minister (Education), Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin said, the condition was caused by some of the students not owning suitable devices which could enable them to effectively follow the learning process.

“The research involved 670,118 respondents from the parents to 893,331 students. Six percent of the students had personal computers, 9.3 percent owned laptops, 5.8 percent had tablets and 46.5 percent of the students had smartphones.

“Some students also owned more than one devices for online learning.

“However, 36.9 percent of the students do not own any devices which could enable them to follow online learning,” he said in a written reply to the Member of Parliament of Jempol (BN), Datuk Mohd Salim Sharif who wanted to know the efforts of the ministry in ensuring that the rural students will not be left behind in their studies due to the digital gap during MCO.

According to Mohd Radzi, the access to internet was also limited, thus, it was a great challenge as the education processes could not be provided thoroughly and uniformly to all students.

Besides that, the online teaching and learning was also new to most teachers, students and parents. Thus, they needed more time to adapt to the new method.

To assist students without access to internet and suitable devices, homebased learning was also implemented by the TV Pendidikan television channels.

He said, they were being broadcasted through TV Okey and Astro’s Tutor TV.

“The teachers also implemented the teaching and learning through the submission of materials to students, especially those living in the rural areas.

“These materials were handed out using various methods such as post, delivery services, Parents Teachers’ Association and drive-through counter at the schools,” he added. – MalaysiaGazette

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