I am appalled and shocked at the experience shared by Form 2 students at a secondary school in Kuala Lumpur when an explicit video started playing on their screens while participating in a design and technology (RBT) exam conducted via video conferencing platform Google Meet.
We were made to understand that the teacher in charge immediately ordered students to exit the virtual classroom, and conducted the exam online. According to parents who were involved in the online class assisting their children, explained that the source of the explicit video is unknown as to who shared the video and how it came to be in the view of everyone on the platform. Parents involved have expressed that this could only have been done by someone who had host capabilities. It is not known how this person gained access to the meeting.
Almost two years after the pandemic and conducting classes online, incidents like this should not be happening at all. In fact, where children are concern, any content shared must be filtered carefully so the impressionable minds are not unnecessarily disturbed.
Coping with the pandemic indicates a future with ample reliance on online classes using platforms like Google Meet. The potential for similar incidents to take place again is quite high. Sharing of explicit videos with children may also be an offence under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 and we cannot underestimate the severity of the issue.
We have been made to understand that the incident could be caused by an outsider obtaining the meeting link and therefore accessing the class to share contents that inappropriate. The Ministry of Education should use all necessary resources and expertise in the ministry to ensure safety of students in an online class and to work on methods that can ensure content shared on Google Meet platforms are safe as well as to develop SOPs or guidelines that will help protect the online platform from being hijacked or hacked. I call upon the Minister of Education to investigate the matter, constantly communicate about the development of the investigation with the public especially with parents involved and take proactive steps to ensure that online classes remain a safe platform for students.
Teo Nie Ching Kulai
Member of Parliament