THE Covid-19 pandemic has been very challenging for those involved in the education system, right from preschool to higher education.
What is education? Unesco states that education is a human right for all throughout life and that all can access that right equally. Education is supposed to transform lives and that is our hope in Malaysia too.
Within education itself, Unicef works to provide learning opportunities that prepare children and adolescents with the knowledge and skills they need to transform their lives for the better.
Educators have to provide students – including preschoolers –with the skills to obtain knowledge which is widely and freely available online.
Teachers and lecturers are no longer the ultimate gatekeepers of knowledge in this digital era but as educators, they have an important role in helping students to translate knowledge learned to skills and to instil a positive attitude towards learning.
My trainee is currently teaching in a rural school. Many of her students do not even know how to log on to their online classes. That came as a shock to me because they have had computing and IT lessons from their primary years.
If by lower secondary, these students still do not have the basic technical skills for engaging in online learning, then the knowledge learned in their early years has failed to equip them with the necessary ability to thrive in today’s virtual world.
ASSOC PROF DR VISHALACHE BALAKRISHNAN
Director, Centre for Research in International and Comparative Education, Universiti Malaya