Computer shops see rise in sales due to online learning mandate

Lyna Mohamad

Computer shops across the country have seen a rise in sales with parents scrambling to secure the necessary materials for their children ahead of online learning mandated by the Ministry of Education (MoE) starting today.

Concepts Computer Managing Director Vincent Pao told the Bulletin the IT business has been better than usual, noting that a majority of the customers are very knowledgeable on IT products and what their needs are.

However, he was concerned with the transition from classroom-based learning to online platform at the early stage as affordability plays an important role in whether a family can support their child’s new educational reality, such as buying a computer and acquiring Internet connectivity in their home to supplement online learning.

He believed that it will take time for parents and teachers to adjust to the new platform and find a new way of communicating with the children, such as cloud sharing and video calling.

He said, “I think choosing a right platform will be the next step; a platform that is both cost effective and user friendly.”

Parents examine computer laptops on display in a shop. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI
All classroom learning has been suspended and classes moved online to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

As an IT solution provider, Concepts Computer is ready to support teachers and students in this transition.

“We encourage our customers to look at the cloud technology, which is especially useful in this COVID-19 outbreak. You don’t have to be at a designated location to use it; the technology is secure. As a vendor, we will do our best for customers looking to adopt the technology,” he said.

As an IT retail store, Pao said, “it is a challenging time for us. While we understand the need for social distancing, delivering customer services are primarily done face-to-face. If this measure persists, we may have to put some of our projects on hold as it is near impossible without having them at our premises”.

Netcom Computer House Managing Director Vincent Goh said, “We are happy that we can provide our customers with all the items to support online learning.” He applauded the MoE for moving classes online as it shows that it prioritises the students’ health and safety.

“It’s very important to practise social distancing, to minimise physical contact with others to contain the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.

“We may feel the inconvenience and discomfort now but it is worth the short-term sacrifice to ensure a better future.”