PETALING JAYA: The frequently asked question by the opposition on the promised 150,000 laptops and tablets under the CERDIK initiative announced in the 2021 budget has finally been answered by the government.
Yayasan Hasanah, the government-appointed secretariat of the CERDIK initiative, said 13,000 of them have already been distributed to state education departments by government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs).
“Of the total, over 1,000 students have received their devices so far.
“Based on the current supply chain capacity, CERDIK is targeting at least 50,000 students to receive their devices by end-May, with the balance 100,000 devices expected to be distributed by end-September 2021,” it said in a statement.
It said funding for this pilot project had solely been generated from GLC/GLICs and corporate donors.
The statement added that all devices were up to date, with adequate capacity for software upgrades to serve each student for at least three years.
Among the initiative’s corporate donors include Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Yayasan Petronas, Permodalan Nasional Bhd, the Employees Provident Fund and Lembaga Tabung Haji.
Education minister Radzi Jidin reassured parents that all CERDIK devices came with the necessary technical support and warranty to minimise interruptions during online learning.
“As we have seen in recent times, Covid-19 has made it clear that digitalisation is indispensable.
“Virtual learning, for example, was vital in limiting the disruption to school lessons and sustaining the delivery of education around the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz added that digital learning was a “core component of our children’s education if we were to take advantage of the economic benefits afforded by the fourth industrial revolution”.
The CERDIK initiative was first announced last November as part of the 2021 budget. Various quarters have since questioned the delay in the delivery of devices.