PETALING JAYA: There is a high chance that students from the B40 group will not be able to keep up with their studies during the movement control order (MCO), said YTL Foundation programme director Datin Kathleen Chew Wai Lin.
Although many teachers have moved to online classes, it would not serve any purpose if there is no way for the students to access the content, she said.
This is why the foundation decided to offer free mobile phones to B40 families with children in public schools who do not have smartphones or other smart devices.
“We found that more than 60% of the applications for our free YES 4G prepaid SIM cards for schoolgoing children initiative came from this group, ” she told The Star.
She said that they discovered this demographic, though wanting their children to study, could not afford to buy an additional data plan, let alone extra smart devices.
“We know that over 90% of these families have at least one smartphone, ” she said.
She also said that this would not be enough as there would usually be more than one child in the family.
Chew said the foundation wanted to do their part to help the underprivileged students, who could be left behind in their studies due to the MCO.
She also said the foundation wants the help teachers to nominate students who need the free devices.
“They would be able to identify these deserving families, ” she said.
“Teachers have said that they can do e-learning for their students but there is the problem about poorer students who do not have a mobile device at home, ” she added.
YTL Foundation chairman Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping said:
“We salute all teachers and we trust them to help us ensure that their most needy students will receive the free mobile phones.”
Each mobile phone comes with a prepaid YES 4G SIM card and a 12-month data plan with 120GB of data in total.
The free mobile phones are part of the foundation’s Learn from Home Initiative and are in addition to the free YES 4G SIM cards with 40GB of data and free learning resources that were made available to public school students two weeks ago.
Students can access the learning resources via FrogPlay Mobile – a gamified mobile app with revision quizzes for every core subject taught in national schools from Year One to Form Five – for free.
Teachers can nominate students to receive a free phone at www.ytlfoundation.org/learn. Successful candidates will be notified and will be required to submit their registration for the free mobile phone and 12-month YES 4G data plan.
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