KUCHING: Telecommunication companies have been urged to offer affordable high-speed Internet connection packages for schoolchildren to complement the government’s subsidy for the purchase of smartphones or other devices.
Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) president Adam Prakash said without the support from telcos, the government’s initiative would have less impact as students and teachers desperately needed Internet data for the learning process, especially home-based learning (PdPR).
He was referring to the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin regarding the increase of smart device subsidy for B40 households with at least one child in school, to RM300 for the purchase of smartphones or other devices.
“We are very thankful to the government for the keen interest in providing educational opportunities for all, especially providing this subsidy for parents to purchase a smartphone for their school-going children.
“However, STU hopes the telcos would continue to support the government’s plans by providing affordable if not cheap Internet packages for the school community as they are the ones at the moment using lots of data for teaching and learning purposes.
“STU also hope the telcos provide community services by continuously giving assistance to schools and teachers, especially in rural areas, so that all children have equal accessibility to the Internet,” he said on Thursday (March 18).
Adam also urged teachers to continue practicing 21st century educational skills, which among others, promoted the use of ICT (information and communication technology) in the classroom.
“School administrators and teachers should also encourage students to surf the Net for educational information.
“Thus, the ban of cellphones should no longer be necessary in schools. School administrators, teachers and parents should educate the students to use ICT equipment, including cellphones in schools, as that is the trend in education today.
“Let us go through a paradigm shift in education and be competitive so that we can compete with our neighbours to improve our ratings and standings in the region.”