TWELVE schools were closed in the short span of Sept 20 to Oct 21, as Covid-19 cases spiked and red zones mushroomed overnight.
As the Education and Health Ministries sought to keep the pandemic out of schools and our students safe, online learning – and the issues related to its implementation – again took centrestage.
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said online teaching has not improved despite Malaysia entering the third wave of the pandemic.
“In many cases, educators made no attempt whatsoever to interact with learners.
“Merely posting links for students to self-learn is irresponsible and lacks integrity. As parents, we can only watch and shake our heads.”
Most parents and students prefer having face-to-face learning in schools, especially those who are sitting for major examinations, according to Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.
The Education Minister, however, noted that in areas where Internet connectivity is not an issue, parents were more comfortable with having their children learn from home. The difference in opinion (of the best place to learn) depended on the availability of devices and the Internet, he told a press conference on Oct 20.
Child therapist Priscilla Ho does not think that having to return to learning online will be a problem for students.
”I don’t think it would be too stressful for them because it is easy for children to adapt.
”Those who may not enjoy the return to school-based screen time are probably those who like being with their friends and those who prefer the school environment compared to staying home, ” she told StarEduStudents who were disinterested in schoolwork even before the pandemic hit, however, would also tend to skip their online lessons now that schools are closed, she said.
Such students would see online learning as a time to relax, have fun and play games.
She reminded parents to be alert and to ensure that their children are actually doing schoolwork when they are on their devices, and not playing games or chatting on social networking sites.
Parents, she said, should also make sure that the children have access to suitable learning devices.
“A mobile phone is not conducive for learning. It is too small and makes concentrating difficult.”