12,887 laptops distributed to students with the bulk of the 150,000 arriving by September

The government should act quickly to ensure children from B40 households get their laptops as only 12,887 have been distributed since last November.

Under Budget 2021, 150,000 laptops was to be distributed nationwide.

Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin revealed 40,290 laptops were supposed to be delivered by June 12 while the balance 96,823 would be given out by the end of September.

However, he also announced during a press conference this morning, that schools would continue with remote learning when it reopens on June 13 and 14 for 25 days before the next term break.

Radzi added remote learning would continue for the foreseeable future.

The next term begins July 25 and 26 and a decision on whether students could return to physical classrooms would be announced a week earlier.

“If and when school does reopen, we will start with those who are still in their examination year,” he said.

A school teacher based in Kuala Lumpur, who declined to be named, said online learning worked in an ideal world.

“But we don’t live in an ideal world. My colleagues and I have had problems teaching online as we could only provide the bare minimum,” he said.

The secondary school teacher added some students did not join classes as they did not have gadgets or internet services.

“Some of those who joined the classes, either off their cameras or turned off their microphones. So we don’t know what happens. This despite us telling them not to do so.

“In class, the communication is clearer and it’s easier to focus. Online, the students seem lost.

Another senior teacher based in Selangor added: “Just look at our minister’s press conference earlier. There were technical issues, the communication between him and the reporters was not smooth.”

“Now imagine us going through that on a daily basis.”

Radzi said his ministry had done its part in helping schools with their internet bandwidth but did not give any details on how it had achieved this.

Separately, Radzi announced that this year’s SPM examination would be held in February (oral) and March (written) 2022.

He also said 70,000 teachers had already been vaccinated against Covid-19.

“I have spoken to (National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister) Khairy Jamaluddin to assist in getting as many teachers vaccinated as soon as possible.”