Tech-savvy kids are the future

Photo: Bernama

Students must align with the changing digital landscape, says DPM

KUANTAN: Sufficient Internet coverage will be provided in low-density, rural and interior areas to facilitate students’ online learning, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the government will also ensure that there are no more situations where students have to climb trees just to get Internet coverage.

“I have already informed the Digital Minister (Gobind Singh Deo) that, from the end of this year, there will be no more students climbing trees to get coverage, because we have 5G.

“We have 5G, so we will continue to provide coverage for low-population, low-density areas, villages, Felda and Orang Asli settlements, and interior areas; it is mandatory to be provided with sufficient coverage,” he said when officiating the national-level Teacher’s Day celebration here yesterday, Bernama reported.

Also present were Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek and Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.

Ahmad Zahid said that as many as 8,104 computer laboratories in schools need to be upgraded and able to be fully used by teachers and students, in an effort to ensure that the Digital Education Policy achieves its objectives.

“I hope that the ministry (Education Ministry) makes this matter a priority.

“I was also informed that the supply of teaching and learning (PdP) devices to students in computer laboratories has been implemented in phases.

“Since 2022, the programme has benefitted 11,220 schools, providing 213,014 laptop units. I will discuss this with the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) so that additional funds for the supply of these devices can be approved, as requested by the ministry,” he said.

He also said that he will recommend to the Prime Minister that the Education Ministry receive a larger allocation in the next federal budget, compared to the RM58.7bil in Budget 2024, to ensure adequate learning equipment and to support various other initiatives.

In the meantime, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said the country, which is currently in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), needs an education system that produces students fluent in digital technology so that they can compete and meet the needs of the job market, in line with the evolution of the digital world.

Therefore, Ahmad Zahid said the Education Ministry needed to formulate a strategy to ensure digital technology becomes part of the cultural tradition of acquiring knowledge, among the Madani generation.

“A Madani nation’s aspiration is to be knowledgeable, moral and progressive.

“In this regard, the role of the teacher is very important. Education and technology are the main keys to forming a competitive and harmonious society.

“Therefore the theme of ‘Guru Jauhari Digital, Aspirasi Negara Madani’ aligns perfectly with the Digital Education Policy introduced on Nov 28, 2023, by Fadhlina as it enshrines one of the seven main cores of her ministry,” he added.

The celebration held yesterday saw former Education deputy director-general Datuk Sulaiman Wak named “Tokoh Kepimpinan Pendidikan Kebangsaan 2024”.

The event drew 3,000 educators from all over the country.

Masariah Mispari, a former history teacher and current panel head at the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation, received the title “Tokoh Guru Kebangsaan 2024.”

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