By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Nov 24: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has proposed to Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong to set up a dialogue with different stakeholders to explain the rationale behind the purchase of Raspberry Pi computers for teaching.
Based on feedback, he revealed that some teachers in rural areas who have used the Raspberry Pi computers for teaching found it impractical.
Thus, he called on Manyin to organise a dialogue with different stakeholders to explain and clarify the ministry’s intention for the purchase of the computer.
“I suggest the minister set up a dialogue with the different stakeholders especially the actual teachers that are on the ground, especially those teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the rural areas.
“Some have tried deploying Raspberry Pi in their schools including those in the rural areas and many have given feedback that it is not practical.
“All these questions are important and while I commend the minister’s initial transparency, I hope they provide further clarification on this.
“This not only involves public money, but more importantly the education of our children, and thus a proper decision must be made taking into account the local context, feedback from stakeholders and suitability of it in providing a holistic learning environment for our children,” he pointed out in a statement.
Dr Yii asserted Manyin’s answers over the purchase of Raspberry Pi computer for teachers recently have led to more questions. He also asserted the purchase of about 10,000 computers for RM 1,191 each including a 19.5-inch monitor, keyboard, mouse and preloaded software could have been done at a lower price and that the cost for the purchase of the Raspberry Pi computers by the state government was inflated.
He added, as it would involve a bulk purchase, the price should be lower and more competitive.
Additionally, Dr Yii highlighted various challenged faced by teachers using the Raspberry Pi computers for teaching, for instance, the non-Windows system which requires training for teachers to make sure that they know how to utilise such computers to teach their students.
He expressed belief the purchase of Raspberry Pi computers by the state government for teachers is a waste of money and resources, and that there are other affordable alternatives. — DayakDaily