Too few hours for educational TV programmes, says Maszlee

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PETALING JAYA: Former education minister Maszlee Malik says the government should allocate more airtime for educational television programmes with classes disrupted because of Covid-19.

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Speaking at the Dewan Rakyat, Maszlee (IND-Simpang Renggam) said in Malaysia, educational TV programmes were broadcast on the mainstream media for only two hours a day.

“This is insufficient when compared with our neighbouring countries. This is embarrassing as in Indonesia, they allocate six hours a day on their mainstream channels. In Thailand, they have 15 channels for education.

“Putrajaya must also explain the status of a directly awarded contract worth RM2 million to produce 800 educational TV programmes by the end of October,” he said.

According to Maszlee, both teachers and students were still waiting for these programmes.

His former deputy, Teo Nie Ching (PH-Kulai), also questioned the delay in the airing of educational TV programmes, saying this was the best alternative for students who did not have proper laptops or learning devices.

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During her debate on the 2021 Budget, she said the TV programmes were unsatisfactory and incomplete, citing the example of Form 6 students only having access to three subjects.

She said only 55 minutes were allocated for Physics, 27 minutes for Economics and another 27 minutes for History.

“That is all for Form 6 students. It is worse for those in Form 2 as there is nothing for them from Nov 5 to Nov 12,” she told the Dewan Rakyat.

She said for Year 1 students, only Mathematics programmes were available, while Year 3 students only have access to 120 minutes of programmes a week compared with 1,500 minutes of classes they would have in school.

Schools were briefly reopened after being closed for months because of the movement control order but a resurgence in cases has seen the government closing them again from Nov 9 until the end of the year.

Teo said alternative learning methods like educational TV programmes were crucial for students because as many as 37% of students do not have internet access or facilities to study online. -FMT

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