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GREATER AID NEEDED FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS UNDERGOING ONLINE DISTANCE LEARNING (ODL)


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15 June 2021


Due to the recent implementation and extension of the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) throughout Malaysia, students have found themselves having no choice but to resort to ODL to progress their studies.


However, in light of a discussion held between Sabahan students and MUDA Sabah on 5 June 2021,it has become clear that many students are still struggling to catch up with their studies. This is even though ODL has long become the norm.


Having received input and insights from Sabahan students, MUDA Sabah has come up with the below 6 initiatives that are believed would benefit the students greatly:


1. We emphasize more support schemes for students living in rural and remote areas who have no access to ODL learning.This includes sufficient access to the Internet and technology required to undergo ODL Otherwise,this would further widen the rural-urban attainment gap.


2. Reduction of tuition fees is needed to ease the burden of students and their family members who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.


3. Provide greater access to mental health services for students negatively impacted by ODL and the FMCO.


4. Universities/colleges must provide students access to adequate online resources by subsidizing paid licences to access journals, articles, publications, etc for their assignment purposes.This is in light of the inability of many students to access their institution's library.


S. Provide E-Belia credits targeted towards underprivileged B40 students. This must be complemented with an option for the E-Belia credit to be credited more flexibly (e.g.crediting into bank accounts). This is because students living in rural areas find it to be limited in use when it comes to purchasing daily amenities.


6.Wider information dissemination regarding the support schemes available to students.


With the greatest respect,we hope that the government may take account of these initiatives to ensure the welfare of all students undergoing ODL will be protected throughout the pandemic.


HIEW WEN TIAN

PIC Mahasiswa/Siswi MUDA Sabah

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