KUALA LUMPUR: Increase the provision of devices to the B40 group, provide additional buildings or build new schools and allocate more computers to schools for education are among the proposals put forward to the government for consideration under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

Former Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom who made the proposals said considering that the Covid-19 pandemic situation is not about to go away soon, home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) is expected to continue.

Apart from that, internet access and reach especially in rural areas and islands are the other matters that the government must consider to enable students in those areas to follow the PdPR sessions better.

“Because schools have not been utilised for quite a while, the government may also have to upgrade or repair school infrastructure for students’ comfort,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Alimuddin said PdPR is a good learning initiative and needed to be continued as implemented by many other countries such as the United Kingdom and Europe.

On additional buildings or new schools, Alimuddin explained that they were proposed to ensure that physical distancing among students is adhered to especially for schools in urban areas where student density is high.

“If the student population is not too high, then parents who are concerned with the safety of their children should not be worried. If it can be shown that physical learning complies with the standard operating procedure namely physical distancing, then there is no reason for parents to be worried,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Parent-Teacher Associations Collaborative Council (PIBGN) president Associate Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Ali Hassan said to ensure the success of the PdPR, the government should offer the devices on a one-off basis or hire purchase method to parents who cannot afford to own the devices.

He said he also hoped that the budget allocated to the Education Ministry is not reduced but instead the PdPR is upgraded to bridge the education quality gap between urban and rural areas.

“A special allocation of five years for PdPR is needed because we have to accept the fact that the pandemic we are experiencing now will become endemic. Also, the government should focus on empowering the teachers by providing more training to enhance their skills,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is expected to table the country’s five-year (2021-2025) development roadmap in the Dewan Rakyat at 11.30 am on Monday.- Bernama

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