Yong: Planning required before tech, ICT equipment are placed willy-nilly in schools

Violet Yong

KUCHING, Dec 10: Placing technology into schools instead of restructuring the curriculum does not automatically make any school “smart”, says DAP Pending candidate Violet Yong.

Responding to SUPP Pending candidate Milton Foo whom on Dec 8 claimed that he will turn all seven primary and four secondary schools into Smart Schools, Yong asserts that this was just wishful thinking.

“You cannot just simply place ICT equipment and technologies in these 11 schools.


“Introduction of technology without the necessary curriculum restructuring, business process reengineering and policies changes will only introduce additional burden and stress to the school communities.

“Based on the studies carried out by UNESCO, the sudden introduction of the latest technology in schools usually results in a very low return of investment. It would amount to a total waste of public funds which could be put to better use to ease the issues faced by the constituents,” Yong said in a press conference today.

To ensure that students can learn well, she asserts that engaging with the Ministry of Education to adopt a system change must be done beforehand and according to a planned schedule in order for the school communities to migrate to a smart school environment.

Apart from that, she opined that teachers’ retraining, children’s change management and learning support as well as parents outreach programmes must be carried out in unison.

“Foo’s approach of dumping technology in schools will not only waste resources but will also upset the schools’ already stressed out operations, thus resulting in students learning even less.

“Of course we will make sure all our schools in not only Pending, but in Sarawak, has the necessary learning support so that our children have equal learning opportunities as any other child in Malaysia.”

However, her concerns are more on the disparity between Form 5 students who are still learning from home when their counterparts are having face-to-face classes, and this, she said, is a much more pressing issue.

Among the worrying examples are students missing out the science practical lessons which will become a compulsory component in the coming SPM examinations next year.

On top of that, Yong added that students in the rural and remote parts of Sarawak had been left behind because they had not have lessons since the beginning of the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If we have sufficient representation, we will insist that the MOE comes up with an amicable solution where our students are not at an disadvantage.

“As the government, we must understand the separation of powers. Education, which is a federal matter, is the responsibility of the Federal government and we in the State will monitor and support our schools to ensure that all the schools can operate optimally with maximum outcome,” Yong explained. — DayakDaily