Sabah CM: Wide-ranging digital infrastructure upgrade to help teachers and students stay connected

KOTA KINABALU: More than 2,000 telecommunications towers in Sabah are being upgraded while 400 new ones will be built under the National Digital Network Plan (Jendela) in the government's effort to address digital communication issues in the state.

In his State Teachers' Day address on Monday (July 19), Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the Covid-19 pandemic has made it more challenging for teachers to carry out their duties.

However, this has not stopped the state government from supporting initiatives to boost academic excellence, he added.

Hajiji said the pandemic has drastically changed the practice and methodology of teaching, with lessons no longer confined to classrooms or conducted face to face, but virtually.

“Usage of applications such as Google Classroom and Zoom apart from WhatsApp as well as Telegram to conduct online teaching is the new teaching method, especially for home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) in this pandemic era,” he said.

“The government understands the challenges faced by teachers in conducting online classes and will always be appreciative and supportive of efforts to enhance teaching."

The Chief Minister said since the state’s topography poses a challenge in delivering better digital connectivity, the government appreciated teachers who are creative and determined in making sure that lessons reach all students, particularly those without Internet access.

“I realise there are teachers who have to walk on foot for miles just to deliver learning materials to their students, while schools are also finding ways to make sure schoolchildren are not left out,” Hajiji said.

In thanking these dedicated teachers, Hajiji also called upon the people of Sabah to continue being respectful to the profession.

He said there have been many baseless attacks and instances of cyberbullying towards educators and teachers when, in fact, it is hard for the public to repay them for their contributions.

The virtual observation of Sabah Teachers’ Day 2021 also honoured educators for excellence in service.

This year’s Education Leadership Award went to former State Education director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul while the Tokoh Guru award went to Dr Shirley Tay Siew Hong, who was formerly principal of SMK Sanzac here.

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