Press Statement By Violet Yong:
I would like to urge both the Federal and Sarawak State Governments to immediately address the issue of many students from B40 families who are left out from online studies due to parents’ financial constraints for not able to afford buying any computer or electronic devices with stable internet access for their children.
Statistic shows that more than 50 percent of students in Sarawak have no internet access or electronic devices to follow online learning at home. It is very sad to see that many of the children from the poor families are left behind in their education and getting helpless for not able to attend daily e-learning classes. Such a problem does not only happen in the interior parts of Sarawak but in Kuching town area as well.
Two days ago, when I visited a family living at Jalan Stapok Utama area, I see it with my own eyes that three children in the family who are now in primary studies are not able to join the e-learning classes because their parents could not afford to provide them any computer or electronic devices to join the online classes.
The mothers of the children informed that their household income was just enough to put food on the table and there is not extra money to buy computer or new smartphone and subscribe internet service for their kids to study online. The two mothers revealed that their children’s performance in studies are being compromised and affected as a result of not having the chance to join the online classes when teachings are going on.
I verily believe majority of the B40 families are facing the same predicament. I thus call on the government to fix the gap by providing free computer or compatible electronic gadget with stable internet access to children from B40 families to able them to receive proper education through this new norm of e-learning classes and ensure that no child is being left out from it.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic and looking at the alarming state of the daily reported new coronavirus cases with death toll on the rise, it is unlikely that students in the country could return to schools for normal classroom studies anytime soon and e-learning or online classes has now become the new norm in education and is inevitable.
Education problem is one of the key issues that our government must not ignore but to tackle it without delay as the responsibility of ensuring every school student receives proper education through e-classes lies with the government.
ADUN for Pending