Umno Youth urges govt to compel conglomerates to donate laptops for students

PETALING JAYA: Umno Youth wants the government to compel conglomerates to donate more laptops to students for online learning using powers under the Emergency Ordinance.

Its chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki told the government to immediately distribute the laptops as listed under Budget 2021 since the school session has started using the home-based teaching and learning programme (PdPR).

"The government should utilise its full powers under the current Emergency Ordinance to urge conglomerates to donate laptops to schoolchildren," he said Sunday (Jan 24).

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, when tabling Budget 2021 on Nov 6, announced that government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies would contribute RM150mil into Tabung Cerdik to provide laptops to 150,000 students in 500 schools as a pilot project.

This project will be supervised by Yayasan Hasanah.

Asyraf said the 150,000 laptops would only accommodate about 3% of the more than 4.7 million students in 10,220 primary and secondary schools.

He added that the government should pay serious attention to the plight of students who may not have the necessary tools for online learning such as smartphones or laptops and said the Education Ministry must play a proactive role to immediately address all the issues and challenges so no students would be left behind.

Asyraf proposed that the government also direct paid private television stations such as Astro to provide educational channels, monitored by the Education Ministry

"Umno Youth also proposes that as a short-term solution, the airing of TV Pendidikan should be expanded by turning several government-owned stations to TV Pendidikan fully throughout the closure of schools due to the pandemic," he said.

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