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Budget 2021: Teachers, parents hope for more funds for online teaching-learning

30 Oct 2020 / 18:25 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ahead of the tabling of the national Budget 2021, parent-teacher associations hope that the government will continue to provide a large allocation for the education sector and put a great emphasis on ensuring smooth home based learning sessions.

The spread of Covid-19 has also become an eye opener for many of us that online teaching and learning (PnP) have yet to reach a satisfactory level in this country, especially in terms of internet access.

National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Amiruddin Awang said limited internet access and lack of electronic devices have become a major challenge, especially among teachers and students in rural areas to participate in online PnP.

“It doesn’t seem as much of problem for developed countries to close schools and conduct online PnP as their students have good internet access and facilities,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Amiruddin also suggested that the government provide rebates for teachers and students for the purchase of electronic equipment such as personal computer and mobile phone, as there are still many students especially those from low-income families who cannot afford to buy such devices.

Apart from providing comprehensive telecommunication and internet facilities, Amiruddin said teachers and students should also be given special price for their monthly internet package subscriptions.

Echoing the same sentiment was National Parents-Teacher Associations Consultative Council (PIBGN) president Associate Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Hassan who urged the government to focus on upgrading the education infrastructure to help ensure the online PnP process runs smoothly.

“A special scheme for the purchase of online PnP equipment and devices should be introduced to help the less fortunate,” he said.

Mohd Ali said teachers must also be given training as the current educational landscape requires them to master and be well-versed in communication and information technology (ICT).

Meanwhile, he suggested that the government provide a special allocation for teachers and students to undergo health screening as well as to help schools ramp up Covid-19 safety measures and comply with the standard operating procedures set by the authorities.

These include the purchase of disinfectants, face masks as well as conducting regular sanitation operation at the premises, he added. -Bernama

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