A-G's Report: Schools without 1BestariNet yet to obtain permits for telecom towers, says Education Ministry

  • Nation
  • Monday, 10 Nov 2014

PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry has clarified that 8,886 from 9,889 schools nationwide have already been equipped with the 1BestariNet service.

The Ministry said YTL Communications (YTLC), the company which was awarded the project, had yet to equip 1,003 schools with the service as it had not obtained a permit for the construction of telecommunications towers, specifically in Sarawak, Penang and Kelantan.

"For those schools which have yet to be connected with the service, the Ministry has provided interim internet service from other service providers so that these schools can continue conducting online learning activities.

"Because of the delay (in procuring the construction permits), the Ministry has also fined YTLC RM2.4mil in October," it said in a statement Monday, in response to findings from the third series of the 2013 Auditor-General's Report.

The report stated that the 1BestariNet project did not meet the two-and-a-half year target to provide 4G broadband connectivity and a virtual learning environment (VLE) to 10,000 schools nationwide.

The project, which was awarded by the Ministry to YTL Communications Sdn Bhd in 2011, was implemented before teachers and students were fully trained to utilise the VLE, the report claimed.

"VLE usage by teachers, students and parents was very low, between 0.01% to 4.69%," the report stated, adding that the proper school requirement studies were not conducted before Internet connectivity in schools were installed.

The audit recommended that the Ministry issue a guideline for VLE to all schools so it could be optimised by teachers, students, parents and include an explanation on the right approach to teaching and learning using VLE.

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