Mixed Reaction To ‘Phones In Schools’ Plan
PETALING JAYA – Teachers and parents are not entirely convinced that students should be allowed to bring mobile phones and IT gadgets to school next year.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Hashim Adnan said while such electronic gadgets were useful, there were other issues to consider.
“I am worried students will use them only for chatting and checking their Facebook,” he said, adding that those without mobile phones “would feel left out”.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said on Monday that students would be allowed to bring electronic gadgets to school next year once rules and regulations under the Education Act 1996 are amended.
This move, he added, was in line with the “1Bestari” virtual teaching and learning programme, and stringent guidelines would be enforced on the use of such gadgets in schools.
Welcoming the proposal, Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said it would help students “compete in the global digital age”.
“There needs to be trust between school administrators and students to ensure that these gadgets will be used for learning,” she said, adding that a scheme should be introduced to help the less privileged students own such gadgets.
Parent Firdaus Abdul Khalid expressed concern it would cause more disruptions in the classroom during lessons.
“Students may just text each other or play games on their mobile phones instead of paying attention to their teachers,” she said.
Malacca PAGE president Mak Chee Kin said having better computer laboratories with the latest technology should suffice,
Student Serena Aini said students should be self-disciplined.
“It falls back on us students to know the limits to the freedom we’ve been given,” she added.
Form Three student Wong Wern Han said he would not bring his mobile phone to school because it would be too big a distraction in class.
Form Two student Nina Mokhtar said smartphones with GPS can help parents keep track of their children. – The Star Online