PETALING JAYA: Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) has taken action against a lecturer who was caught berating a B40 student during an online class for not owning a laptop.
The university's vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Roziah Mohd Janor said they will not compromise with anyone who damages the name of the university, intentionally or otherwise.
“Following the viral sharing of video on social media involving the actions of a UiTM lecturer who had issued sensitive comments, the university has studied the issue and taken swift and appropriate action against the lecturer,” she said in a statement on Wednesday (March 30).
She added that the university prioritises the welfare of all its members, especially students, to ensure they have the most conducive environment to study.
“UiTM was formed to help the underserved continue their studies at the university level,” she said.
“UiTM understands the constraints, difficulties and situations faced by students in the online learning and teaching process,” she said, adding that they have funds available for students to enable them to continue studying.
The university was responding to a viral video of a female lecturer berating a student who was using his phone to attend an online class in his fifth semester.
When she found out his father was unemployed and his mother is “no more”, she told him to ask his sister to sell her gold bangle so he can get a laptop, something she felt was a must to attend online classes.
She said that without a laptop, the student could not study well and would end up a dropout.
“The price of a laptop is only RM800. What is your problem? That's why I can't sit with B40 people. They’re thinking more of other matters than their lessons,” she had said before telling him to turn off his camera because she did not want to see him again.
The video went viral on Twitter late Tuesday (March 29) night and was viewed over 900,000 times and shared by more than 50,000 Twitter users.
The original account has since been removed.
Prof Roziah urged any UiTM student facing issues to contact their faculties or the university to obtain appropriate advice and help to continue their studies.
On Wednesday morning, Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad said on Twitter that she has contacted the university to get an explanation on the matter which has social media up in arms.
Muar MP, Muda chief and former Youth and Sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said a third of students in Malaysia do not have a laptop or tablet based on a survey conducted by the Education Ministry.