Give Laptops To More Students From Poor Families Urges Union
NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan Huat Hock says poor students must be allowed access to online lessons during the school holidays.KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has urged the government to provide laptops through Tabung Cerdik to more students from low-income families.
Its secretary-general, Harry Tan Huat Hock, said this is to enable the online teaching and learning (PdP) programme to be implemented effectively amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in the closure of all schools.
“We need to look at the issue comprehensively. There are about five million students nationwide. If only 150,000 from 500 schools receive the laptops, the numbers are relatively small.
“We hope the government can find other ways to enable more students from low-income families to have access to laptops to facilitate online learning,” he said on the Ruang Bicara programme on Bernama TV last night.
Tan said a survey carried out by his union found that 36% of students nationwide do not possess any electronic devices that can be used for online PdP.
Tabling the 2021 budget in the Dewan Rakyat last Friday, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said government-linked companies will contribute RM150 million to Tabung Cerdik to provide laptops to 150,000 students in 500 schools as a pilot project. This project will be supervised by Yayasan Hasanah.
Income of universities takes a dive
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Mazlan Abd Ghaffar said the spread of Covid-19 has affected the income of universities.
“Although students are allowed to register at their respective universities and have now switched to online learning, collection of hostel fees has decreased and this has affected the income of the university itself.
“If the government intends to reduce operating expenses under Budget 2021, the situation will worsen for many universities,” he said, adding that universities should also find ways to generate income to cover their operating expenses.
National Council of Professors president and chief executive officer Raduan Che Rose said most public and private institutions of higher learning cannot generate income because of the spread of the pandemic.
“Most of the revenue of these public and private institutions of higher learning comes from the admission of international students. For now, new and current students are unable to attend classes and this has caused deterioration of the financial situation of these institutions,” he said. - FMT
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