Online learning is here to stay: Minister

Fadley Faisal & Farhan Julaihi

The inclusion of online learning will be a boost to the education system, said Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman at a press conference yesterday.

“It has been planned by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to incorporate online learning into the education system in the future.

“Initiatives have been carried out, including the professional development of teachers to improve their efficiency and skills in online teaching. Since these are still fairly new initiatives, it will take time to see results.

“Digital resources have also been increased to help teachers and students. Another initiative is sharing sessions among teachers – those who are more skilled will help others improve.

“Training children to be more independent in online learning is another initiative to make the system more effective.

“All these initiatives are still in progress. We hope to be more efficient as we move along.”

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman. PHOTO: JAMES KON

Meanwhile, the minister said students with learning difficulties will need to catch up, adding that as the current measures do not allow for physical attendance of classes, it rests on students’ shoulders to attend lessons on their devices.

“If there is learning difficulty, the student needs to follow up with a learning support programme,” he advised.

In addressing the query on the MoE’s target to loan out 5,000 devices, the minister said the MoE is working closely with the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE).

He said the home-learning pack is an alternative for the less privileged students.

In addressing a query on parents’ doubt over the eligibility of school based grades in applying for scholarships or study overseas, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah said school-based assessments will not halt the students’ plan to study abroad or receive scholarships.

“The Cambridge International authorities have assured that there is no difference in the certificates issued by the Cambridge International whether it is graded through exams or school-based,” said the minister.

He added, “I hope this clarifies to all parties that the certificate will be certified and issued by Cambridge International.”

The minister also commended teachers for going out of their way to help the students in need. “The MoE, through the Department of Schools, has encouraged school funds to be allocated to assisting students,” said the minister.

He also said, “The ministry is providing equipment, such as printers and photocopy machines, to schools as we did during the first wave.

“The challenges in this second wave are supply chain and movement restrictions, but hopefully, these issues can be ironed out soon, so help can be provided to those who need it.”