WE HAVE to admit that the issue of school reopening is getting more complicated after the government on January 16 decided to postpone it due to Covid-19 case which is on the rise.
The Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) has made a set of face-to-face teaching and learning (PdP) sessions in schools only involving students who will sit for the examination, specially for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) and Diploma Vocasional Malaysia (DVM) 2020 and equivalent.
Student safety is a priority. That’s uncompromising. But we still need to think about the needs of Year 1 to 6 students and Form 1 to 5 for the year 2021 to get a proper education. We have to learn from experience. Since the implementation of PKP 1.0, teachers and schools have taken the initiative to provide online classes as to ensure that students do not drop outs.
However, many complaints have arisen about the method as it has many constraints either on the part of teachers, students or parents.
Among them are parents being not able to provide gadgets such as laptops and mobile phones to their children, money constraints in providing data, internet network problems, difficulties for teachers teaching high syllabus virtually and others.
For some parents, managing their child’s online learning is difficult because many married couples work.
In this regard, before announcing the postponement of school during PKP 2.0 on 16 January, it is appropriate for KPM to resolve every grievance raised by students, teachers and parents during PKP 1.0 first.
Here I would also like to share a few insights as an additional method of helping students get learning sessions at home.
The government on April 6 last year launched Education TV through Okey TV, Astro Tutor and Didik TV @ NTV7. A good approach. But its implementation is only within a certain time limit.
In the case of PKP 2.0, I think it would not be good if one of the government-owned television channels is used entirely for the same purpose but at an optimal time limit. In the meantime, non-pay television stations can also play a role in helping. We must admit that education is more important to the people than entertainment.
Not to be outdone, pay television stations can also provide non-stop educational channels as corporate social responsibility (CSR) to students and parents in these difficult times.
Broadcast slots can be divided according to core subjects and subjects for students in years 1 to 6 as well as form 1 to 5 students. They are required to follow the learning schedule set by the MOE through the educational channel on the television.
To avoid students and parents being too dependent on gadgets and Whatsapp, I suggest the MOE provide learning materials for parents to take at school once a week.
Do not put too much pressure on teachers with reporting, documentation and setting KPIs with the impact of PDPR which ultimately troubles teachers and in turn becomes a burden to students and parents.
In any case, I highly praise the role of teachers in educating the nation. They are the engineer of generations and glorious leaders.
AHMAD ZAHID HAMIDI