With home learning to continue, Yayasan Petronas offers internet-connected gadgets to 12,000 students nationwide

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A Standard One student takes online lessons as classes resume January 20, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A Standard One student takes online lessons as classes resume January 20, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Yayasan Petronas today announced that it will be distributing RM30 million worth of computers connected to the internet to enable 12,000 secondary school students continue their online lessons from home.

Its chief executive officer Nelly Francis Shariah said the devices will be supplied to 81 schools in 69 districts nationwide as part of its to the CERDIK programme, which was first announced during the Budget 2021.

“The devices provided through CERDIK are designed to support students’ learning requirements for three academic years, and are fitted with data services, maintenance, warranty and technical support.

“Through the initiative, we want to provide equitable access to quality education for students as it is the first step to close the digital gap towards enriching their educational experiences and lives,” she said in a statement.

Yayasan Petronas is the corporate social responsibility arm of the national oil company.

Nelly added that with these devices and internet service, it is hoped that more students from underprivileged and rural communities can better participate in online lessons.

CERDIK, which involves government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies, is aimed at supporting lower-income families to better adjust to the new normal of online lessons, e-learning and other forms of remote teaching.

Its secretariat organisation Yayasan Hasanah’s managing director Shahira Ahmed Bazari thanked Yayasan Petronas for supporting CERDIK, which she said is one of the most comprehensive pilot initiatives on digital learning in public schools nationwide.

“Despite logistics issues due to the movement restrictions around the world, we are still on track to deliver the devices based on the stipulated timelines,” she said.

According to a survey of 900,000 students conducted by the Education Ministry last year, 37 per cent indicated they do not have appropriate devices at home to participate in online lessons during that time.

In March, Yayasan Petronas’ Back to School programme saw school supplies and personal hygiene kits distributed to 21,000 students from underprivileged families nationwide.

The foundation also rolled out its signature Program Duta Guru, a collaboration between Yayasan Petronas and the ministry. Earlier this year, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics teachers were provided with online teaching kits and guidance in delivering lessons for improved learning outcomes.

Education Minister Radzi Jidin has announced earlier today that students are to continue with online lessons from home when the new school term starts from June 13 until their next term break in July.

All students in Group A states (schools in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) were supposed to start school on June 13 while Group B schools (Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya) on June 14.

After 25 days of schooling they would have started their mid-term break from July 16-25 for Group A and July 17-26 for Group B.

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