52% Sabah students have no internet access, gadgets


KOTA KINABALU: Teachers and students in Sabah have been equally supportive to ensure smooth online Learning and Facilitation (PdPc) sessions throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period since it was enforced on March 18.

However, Sabah Education Director Dr Mistirine Radin admitted that lack of internet access and gadgets such as smartphones among students from the state’s rural and interior areas, pose a challenge to the PdPc sessions.

Mistirine told Bernama that based on accumulated data, 98 per cent of teachers in Sabah are prepared to conduct online PdPc because they are fully equipped with WiFi, internet data and gadgets to run the sessions.

Unfortunately, about 52 per cent of the students in the state do not have access to the Internet and smartphones, computers or mobile gadgets that are needed to participate in the sessions scheduled by their respective teachers, she said.

“Online learning is not new in education because it has been practised in school. Normally, sessions in school are held at computer labs equipped with high-speed internet.

“However, conducting online PdPc sessions during the MCO is a challenge because the students who are at home are separated from the facility. Some students do not have access to the Internet, not to mention not having gadgets.

“We will ensure that no students are left behind in these learning sessions,” Mistirine said, adding that video conferences are being held with headmasters, principals and officers from the District Education Office to discuss the best alternatives to overcome this problem.

“The PBL is designed to keep track of the 52 per cent of students who lack access to the internet and gadgets, to allow them to participate in learning sessions so that they will get the same education as students who have access to the facility.

“It is also a preparation for if the same situation repeats (temporary closure of school session) in the future. Hereafter, teachers in Sabah have options in conducting learning sessions for their students,” she said. – Bernama