Students and principals raise internet connection issues in online meeting

Poor WiFi connectivity remains a major obstacle for many people teaching and learning at home while schools remain closed.

Those who received digital devices as part of the Penang e-learning program are now equipped with the necessary equipment, but internet connectivity remains a problem for some.

Their circumstances were highlighted during an online engagement session with Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, the Semiconductor Industry Association of Malaysia (MSIA) and the Chairman of the Computer Program of Penang online learning, Chong Eng, Saturday.

Among them was V. Praveena, 17, a student of SM Bukit Mertajam Convent, who spoke on behalf of her friends.

While thanking the Penang government for the computers she and her friends received, she pointed out the network connection issues.

“It was difficult for me and my brother to attend the online classes because we shared our parents’ phones. Now, with the help of the government, we can attend all the classes.

“But a lot of students, including my friends, face internet connection issues. I wonder if the government can provide free data or Wi-Fi facilities to these students, ”she said.

SK Sungai Ara’s senior assistant Azani Abdullah said 33 students at the school received digital devices from the state program and if they were able to have WiFi support it would further enhance their capacity learning.

“We have identified those who enjoy online learning, but some are still being left out.

“Although students who previously had difficulty procuring devices now show better attendance after receiving computers, having sufficient WiFi connectivity will be an added help, as many still depend on their parents’ phones to connect. to the Internet, ”she said.

SK Sin Ya director Beh Khoon Seng said lack of internet connection was a common problem, but that should not be a reason for children to be excluded from education.

“Once education is missed, they are left behind and their future is affected.

“About 90% of students who were absent from online classes said it was due to lack of internet access.

“Any help will be of great help to low-income families.

“I hope that the students who received help getting computers will also get help getting internet connection,” he said.

MSIA President Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai has so far said that Penang’s e-learning computer program has spent around RM2 million on laptops and hopes it will continue to grow.

“We are delighted to pool all resources and donate 1,562 laptops at a cost of RM2.02 million, donated by 27 companies.

“We only targeted 1,500 units and exceeded the target.

“Every sponsorship counts and nothing is too small,” he said.

Chow said the issue of internet connectivity had always been a concern of the government as there were still weaknesses in the infrastructure.

“There is no quick fix because it takes time for service providers to perfect their coverage.

“We believe that the launch of the country’s connectivity plan will solve the problem in the years to come.

“For a short-term measure, we have secured sponsorship from YTL Communications.

“Connectivity is an important element in ensuring the success of Penang’s e-learning program,” he said.

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