IT WAS a happy day for 100 children from B40 households when they received a tablet each with 40GB Internet data, to ensure their education can continue virtually.
The educational tools given to the children in PPR Desa Mentari in Petaling Jaya and PPR Sri Pantai in Kuala Lumpur were courtesy of Deloitte Malaysia.
Deloitte sponsored the tablets worth RM60,000 through its KassimChan Foundation and collaborated with YTL Foundation to provide Yes 4G SIM cards with free mobile data.
The pupils were selected from among those who attended the free weekly English tuition classes started last year by Deloitte KidsEdu.
This is Deloitte’s corporate social responsibility arm which focuses on making education accessible for the underprivileged.
Deloitte Malaysia chief executive officer Yee Wee Ping said the movement control order (MCO) had caused problems but also provided the opportunity to embrace digitalisation.
“During the MCO, our Deloitte KidsEdu volunteers were worried about their pupils falling behind in education due to the lack of facilities. After brainstorming with MyPj, a coalition of Petaling Jaya Residents Associations and Rukun Tetangga, we got the idea to provide pupils with the software and hardware for virtual learning.
“With the tools, the students can now keep up with school work online and also get access to YTL Foundation’s e-learning platform, FrogAsia, where our volunteers will be resuming their classes online next month, ” he said during the tablet presentation ceremony at PPR Desa Mentari.
YTL Foundation programme director Datin Kathleen Chew said they too were concerned about the needs of children in underserved communities during the MCO.
“Online learning is the best solution to continue with education but despite many such initiatives, it will not be beneficial if the children are unable to access it.
“So, we teamed up with YTL Communications to give away free SIM cards with Internet data and mobile phones to deserving children from B40 families studying in government schools.
“Students can also visit www.ytlfoundation.org/learn to access FrogAsia online-learning classes which provide English, Mathematics and Science lessons, for Year 1 up to Form 5, ” she said.
Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, who was the guest- of-honour, said the inability of poor students to continue virtual learning was worrying as it may increase the school dropout rate if they fail to cope when school reopens.
“About 90% of poor students do not have access to learning online. As it is, the school dropout rate is already high.
“Education is the way to change one’s life for the better and for one to have the ability to have choices in what they want to do in life, ” she said.
Also present was Seri Setia assemblyman Halimey Abu Bakar.
Desa Mentari Block 1-10 Joint Residents Association chairman Aka Zillah Din, 51, said the parents were very grateful for the contributions.
“Many parents were unable to cope with the sudden shift to online learning for their children.
“They may own a mobile phone but some are unable to share it with their children because they need it for work, while others did not have WiFi or Internet data.
“With the children having their own device complete with Internet data, they no longer have to depend on their parents and can learn independently, ” she said.