KUALA LUMPUR: The government should divert the RM85.5mil allocation for the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) towards the purchase of e-learning devices for students to enable them to access online classes, says former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching.
The Kulai MP said the Education Ministry had revealed in a parliamentary written reply that based on its own study conducted between March 28 and April 2,36.9% of students did not have any devices to allow them to study online.
The study involved a total of 670,118 respondents comprising the parents of 893,331 students.
Teo said this showed that a large number of students could not participate in e-learning effectively as they did not have the appropriate tools.
"I hope that they distribute the RM85.5mil allocation for Jasa to the Education Ministry so they can procure devices for students," she told a press conference at the Parliament building on Wednesday (Nov 11).
Teo said if the allocation was used for such a purpose, the Education Ministry could buy at least 103,875 units of tablets at a price range of between RM600 to RM800.
"The Finance Minister mentioned that Budget 2021’s main focus was the welfare of the people.
"I urge the government to set aside all political differences and put the interest of the people and student's wellbeing first," she said.
The allocation for Jasa has drawn strong criticism from both sides of the political divide, with some saying that the fund should be used for other purposes or for frontliners fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
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