Kuala Lumpur, 13 January 2021 – The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) welcomes the expansion of educational TV announced by MOE and urges MOE to ensure comprehensive coverage of main subjects for all levels from primary to secondary on television.
With the implementation of MCO 2.0, face to face schooling sessions in Johor, Melaka, Penang, Sabah, Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan would be closed except for students sitting major local examinations in 2020 and 2021. Teaching and learning for other students will be transferred to online learning. The Education Minister announced yesterday that educational programmes will be provided on television.
Commenting on the issue, Wan Ya Shin, Research Manager of Social Policy Unit in IDEAS, said “As we know there are many challenges in accessing online learning for students. Challenges such as lack of proper devices, access to the internet and steady connection, conducive environment for learning and parental guidance as parents need to work. The continuation of online learning that does not address these issues will result in a “lost generation” and increase education inequality.”
“We need to expand the coverage and reach of the teaching and learning to students who do not have access to online learning as they are the most vulnerable and more likely to drop out of school.”
“The expansion of classroom teaching via television should be comprehensive to cover all main subjects for all levels from primary to secondary to be aired on television throughout the day to ensure that children are not left behind.”
“We are unsure how long this situation will persist. Therefore, we cannot risk the future and education of our children.” she said.
A policy paper published by IDEAS, titled Brief Ideas No.19 “Education during Covid-19” (see appendix), suggested that television would be the best reach as 98.6% of households have television compared to only 87% households have internet according to the ICT Use and Access Survey in 2018.
Tricia Yeoh, CEO of IDEAS added, “After almost a year of experiencing continued disruption to our children’s education, we must now identify innovative solutions to ensure they are able to continue learning. The COVID-19 situation is nowhere near easing, and implementing television-based learning is certainly a low-hanging fruit that can be immediately put into place. I look forward to seeing how the government can adapt existing facilities creatively to achieve continued education.”
Brief Ideas No. 19 can be downloaded from:
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For media enquiries, contact Wan Ya Shin at email@example.com
Appendix: Brief IDEAS No 19: Education during COVID-19
There are 1.5 billion students from over 165 countries who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic as announced by UNESCO on 26 March 2020. Malaysia is one of the 165 countries which has closed schools due to the pandemic. School holiday in Malaysia has been extended by 3 weeks after the school holidays in March. At the time of writing, there is still a possibility of the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) beyond 14 April 2020.
There are many scenarios that might play out after 14 April 2020. First, we might resume back to business as usual, where businesses and schools will be reopened. Second, the MCO might be extended. Third, we might resume businesses and schools but would go back to MCO if there is another surge in the number of infections. In these circumstances, what would happen to our children’s education? What would happen to their learning?