KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Former education minister Maszlee Malik today urged the government to make full use of the media to educate students who have been forced to stay home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Simpang Renggam MP has been an advocate of ramping up hybrid teaching methods and suggested the government incorporate all channels on radio and TV and not focus on using just the internet to reach out to students.
“Education is not limited to only DidikTV and TV Okey. Every channel must be compelled to allocate specific time slots just for education and to make shows and programmes related to education.
“Education must always be seen across the cocoon of contents within textbooks,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today during his address on the National Recovery Plan.
Maszlee suggested the government take notes from Brazil, which he said had utilised its national television and radio channels in broadening its digital education plan.
“It is as though the radio has no role in education in Malaysia at this point of time,” he said.
Maszlee claimed Malaysia was among the countries with the longest forced closure of school since last year due to the pandemic.
He warned that the long absence from classrooms could result in a “lost generation” of Malaysians.
“This matter will lead to more cancerous issues if the Ministry of Education does not prepare an intervention plan and a correction plan that is thorough.
“This plan has to be transparent and presented to the public and those in this Honourable House. Unfortunately, up till now, not one plan has been presented by the government,” he said.
Other suggestions put forward by Maszlee today include urging the government to form a National Education Action Committee.
He suggested the committee members comprise the National Union of the Teaching Profession, Unicef, the Health Ministry, education experts, think tanks and research bodies, government and Opposition lawmakers, and education-based non-government organisations.
Additionally, Maszlee urged the government to accord more autonomy to public schools, saying it would allow them to make the best decision based on their students’ specific needs.
“They are more informed about the affairs of their students. Trust must be given to the schools, the principals, and headmasters,” he said.
This was in response to the explanation on the country’s National Recovery Plan presented earlier by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The special Parliamentary sitting continues tomorrow at 10am.