Hornbill Unleashed

April 28, 2017

‘Set guidelines for students to bring gadgets to school’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Guidelines must be in place for students to adhere to should the government decide to allow students to bring to school electronic gadgets, such as smart phone, tablet and laptop.

Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said this is crucial to ensure there is no abuse.

However, he acknowledged that the electronic gadgets can help improve the learning process as students can easily access information from such devices.

“With the aid of information technology, it will also be easier for students to understand what are being taught in the classroom. However, strict guidelines must be in place for the students to adhere to if the government decides to implement the plan.

“The guidelines will ensure that students do not misuse or abuse the technology by accessing unapproved sites that could affect their minds,” he said in a press statement emailed to The Borneo Post here yesterday.

Lee pointed out that the ministry must also decide who would monitor the use of these gadgets in school.

He observed that as usual, teachers would be forced to take the responsibility although it was already known that they handle too many things.

“At the same time, we must know who will be given the responsibility to supply the devices as not all students can afford to buy them.”

He said this because if students are allowed to buy the electronic gadgets themselves, those from well-to-do families will definitely bring the latest and expensive devices, creating low self-esteem among poor students besides leading to theft and other disciplinary cases.

On the contrary, if the government or the school administration is given the task to supply the devices, the astronomical cost will the main issue since there are about five million students nationwide, he highlighted.

Lee was commenting on Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid’s recent statement that students might be allowed to bring electronic devices like laptops, tablets and smart phones to schools for purposes of learning.

Mahdzir reportedly said the proposal under the Teaching and Facilitating (PdPc) initiative would be subject to certain classroom periods and subjects that would be determined by the ministry.

However, the minister also reportedly pointed out that the matter had not been finalised because the ministry had to study it carefully before implementing it.

On this, Lee stressed: “The Education Ministry’s proposal to allow students to bring to school electronic gadgets, such as smart phone, tablet and laptop, and its suitability must be studied thoroughly.”

He said the proposal must be thoroughly deliberated and the Education Ministry should discuss with the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) and parent-teacher associations all over the country.

“Although the idea is good, we do not want it to create problems halfway through the implementation process, forcing the government to rescind its decision to allow the use of electronic gadgets in school,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) said the proposal was not feasible yet as it would necessitate the upgrading of school facilities and infrastructure besides requiring change in mindset.

Sarawak Bumiputera Teachers’ Union (KGBS), on the other hand, urged the Education Ministry to make a holistic study if it intended to implement the proposal.

Its president Ahmad Malie said this was because students were easily exposed to negative elements circulating in the Internet.

Source :  Peter Boon @ Borneo Post Online



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