What stops a government from doing what has been promised? Especially when there are readily available funds? Is it due to a lack of political will to help the most vulnerable population in our community – children who cannot speak out and help themselves?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused drastic changes in teaching and learning methods from face to face to online classes through home learning and teaching (PdPR). Internet access and gadgets have thus become a basic necessity for students to attend online classes from home.
However, many parents in Sabah especially those with more than one child could not afford to buy devices such as tablets or laptops, to use as an educational tools to attend online classes.
Luckily there are those in the opposition who are trying to help students get the necessary devices that would enable them to engage in e-learning. For example, Kapayan assemblywoman Jannie Lasimbang.
“They have not received assistance from the government and as such, Pusat Perhubungan ADUN Kapayan has started the initiative by purchasing reconditioned laptops to be given to students who are unable to afford these gadgets” Jannie Lasimbang said.
A total of 4 primary students received 10 inches laptops while 6 secondary students received 14 inches laptops, as well as accessories and bags.
“I would like to thank initiator of My Gadget Sabah Campaign, Jay Lok, who worked with Kenneth Wong with Pusat Perhubungan ADUN Kapayan to make this initiative possible by identifying good reconditioned laptops. Kenneth will also be following up with the parents to service the computers where necessary” Jannie said.
DAP reps have been ringing the alarm and trying to push the government to make good on their promise so that students will not be left behind in their studies.
In August, Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin sought clarification from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government whether the 150,000 laptop computers promised last year during the Budget 2021 announcement have been given to the students.
This week former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching branded the government as discriminatory after the meagre distribution of laptops to the Tamil schools in the B40 category for online learning.
“Since the PdPR is now an important learning platform, I urge both the Sabah and Federal government to not only keep their promise to provide the 10,000 computers to Sabah students, but also further identify those still in need and provide assistance, including improving internet access”.
Jannie also encourages those wishing to donate used laptops or cash to help underprivileged students to do so through the Pusat Khidmat DAP Penampang Public Bank account 3208968403 or contacting them at 012-8260706.