Masidi: Sabah govt, Edu Dept collecting data of students in need of gadgets for online learning

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government and the state Education Department are currently collecting data on the number of students who need electronic devices for online studies before making any decision on assistance.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun (pic) on Wednesday (Jan 27) said the assistance will also look at the Internet coverage where students reside to see its effectiveness.

He said that at the state Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Jan 27), Education exco member Datuk Mohd Ariffin Mohd Arif has been tasked with contacting the Sabah Education Department to determine who qualifies for assistance and the real figure of those who need such devices.

“Then we will consider what type of device we will issue. If the place has no wifi or Internet connection, this is also something we must take into account, ” he said during the virtual press conference for Covid-19 developments.

He said this with regards to Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor’s statement that the state government is considering electronic device assistance for underprivileged students for online learning from home.

Responding to the claim that personalities like Ebit Lew have rendered assistance in terms of sending such devices to Sabah students instead of the state government, he said the state government welcomed everyone’s assistance.

“Who sends it first is not important, it is secondary whether it comes from the government or non-governmental organisations. It might be easier if it is a donation from individuals as the government has to go through several procedures, ” said Masidi.

“So if Ebit Lew made the move first, we say thank you and hope others will follow suit, ” he added.

Masidi said the state government will do its part and welcomes companies to help out as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Ebit - a public figure known for his charity work - posted in his Instagram account on Tuesday (Jan 26) that he will be going on a mission in Sabah, bringing food, wheelchairs, masks, and Samsung Tabs for those in need.

Meanwhile, Masidi said as an immediate measure, the state government has advised the state Education director that for students without Internet coverage and devices, they can follow at-home learning using printed materials passed to them by the schools and teachers.

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