Use gadgets to make lessons interesting, says parents group

PAGE chairman Noor Azimah Rahim says students will not be tempted to go on social media if the lessons in school are interesting. (YouTube screengrab)

PETALING JAYA: The Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) says the government should make classroom learning more exciting with the help of electronic gadgets, instead of mulling a review on the use of the devices.

Its chairman Noor Azimah Rahim said the government should emulate how private and international schools used gadgets in teaching.

“If the lesson is interesting, students will not be tempted to go on social media. They will be focused on their classes and utilise the gadgets to fulfil their learning requirement. I have seen how international schools did it.

“Again, the government should make teaching interesting, and then we can bring in the devices,” she said, adding that PAGE had always taken the stand that devices should be allowed in schools for learning purposes.

Yesterday, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the government would review a proposal made by the previous administration that allowed students to bring their electronic gadgets into the classroom for learning and teaching purposes.

“The ministry does not want to stress only on gadgets because the (software) contractor will benefit but the students won’t,” he said.

Former education minister Mahdzir Khalid said allowing students to bring electronic gadgets and devices to school was in line with technological developments.

Azimah also said that classrooms should be limited to 15 to 20 students, so that teachers could monitor who were using gadgets properly for learning.

“It is easy for teachers to identify those not paying attention if the classroom size is small.”

She said if national schools wanted to have 35 students or more in a class, they should bring in teaching assistants to help teachers monitor the students.

However, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said they would support a bid to relook the bringing of gadgets to school.

“Logistics problems arise when students bring their gadgets like laptops to school. Some say they can keep these in cupboards.

“But who will be responsible if the laptops dissappear? Teachers are not supposed to be gadget keepers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Melaka Action Group for Parents (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin questioned whether Malaysia was even ready for a policy on having gadgets in schools.

“Do we have proper internet connectivity in place and are teachers and parents also prepared in terms of teaching and financial issues?” he said.

He added that this would only work in some schools in areas where there was good internet access but not for the whole country.

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