Delegate powers to schools to decide on lessons at home – MP
25 February 2022
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin has called on the Education Ministry to let schools, together with the stakeholders in the Parents and Teachers’ Association (PTA), to make decisions on whether to conduct home-based online learning (PdPR) as Covid-19 cases are on the rise.
He said in Sabah alone, as high as 82 per cent of the clusters had originated from schools and that the vaccination rate within school children aged 5 to 12 years old in Sabah is less than 10 per cent.
“These two sets of data have caused many parents to worry about the risk of their children contracting Covid-19 when attending classes physically in schools.
“As a result, these parents have instead opted for their children to go on leave and had disallowed their children to attend class to prevent contracting the virus,” he said in a statement today.
“Many schools are now facing extremely low student attendance rates, and there are even classes where only a single student had attended the physical class,” he added.
Chan indicated that since the turnout rate for physical classes in schools across the country seems to be declining which leads to inefficiency, it’s best if PDPR is to be conducted.
“Of course, some people pointed out that more than half (52%) of primary and secondary school students in Sabah lack internet access and devices for home learning.
“Perhaps the main reason why the Ministry of Education had insisted on physical classes in Sabah is that they are worried about the dropout rate due to such non-accessibility to facilities from home. This problem is especially serious in rural areas.
“However, when everyone is worried about Covid-19 and there is only one student in the whole class in school in cities such as Kota Kinabalu, having physical classes is equivalent to nothing and is meaningless.
“In view of the digital divide between urban and rural areas and the disparity in the number of students in urban and rural schools, it is difficult to implement a one-size-fits-all policy for all schools to attend classes or for all schools to carry out PDPR.”
Chan also suggested that Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin remove all red tapes required for schools to conduct PdPR and delegate such decision-making powers (whether to conduct PdPR) to the schools.