Ex-education minister, deputy criticise TV Pendidikan as ‘embarassing’, inadequate for students forced to learn at home due to Covid-19

Maszlee Malik said two hours daily of the TV Pendidikan programming were too little to support home-based learning for students whose schools were closed due to Covid-19. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Maszlee Malik said two hours daily of the TV Pendidikan programming were too little to support home-based learning for students whose schools were closed due to Covid-19. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — The two hours daily of the TV Pendidikan or Educational TV programming were too little to support home-based learning for students whose schools were closed due to Covid-19, said Maszlee Malik said.

The former education minister said this was made worse as the programme was only accessible via TV Okey on national broadcast channels.

“The TV Pendidikan is free of charge, but can only be accessed for two hours a day. This is very embarrassing.

“Compared to other countries like in Indonesia, their educational programmes are accessible also via national television channels but for at least six hours, in Thailand there are 15 channels for education and in Turkey there is a channel dedicated to each schooling grade from pre-school to university.

“But in Malaysia, only two hours a day,” he said during his debate on Budget 2021 today.

The independent Simpang Renggam MP also demanded that the Education Ministry explain the decision to grant the contract to Radius One Sdn Bhd through direct award.

He said the RM2 million contract was for 800 pieces of content to be completed by October in order to be aired on TV Pendidikan and demanded an update for this.

Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin previously said students without access to the Internet or who lacked suitable devices for online learning could access home-based learning programmes via TV Pendidikan through the TV Okey on RTM and Tutor TV on Astro.

Today, former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching also called TV Pendidikan unsatisfactory.

Teo, who is DAP’s Kulai MP, said she monitored the channels from November 5 to November 12 and concluded that the airtime and content were both insufficient.

“For Form Six, only three subjects: Physics (for 55 minutes), Economics (for 27.05 minute) and History (for 27.05 minutes).

“For Form Two, it’s worse. No subjects are taught on the channels,” she said, adding that the dire situation was the same for primary students.

According to Teo, Primary One students were only shown lessons for a single subject — Mathematics — for just 30 minutes or just 10 per cent of the lesson time they should have each week.

“Same goes for Year Three 30 minutes a week for Mathematics, Bahasa Malaysia for 150 minutes and English for 30 minutes.

“So for the Year Three students they spend 210 minutes on lessons in a week compared to their schooling schedule it is 1,500 minutes a week.

“So if we compare 210 to 1,500, we know this TV programme is very unsatisfactory,” she said.

She then questioned the rationale to close schools in places where the Covid-19 situation was not critical.

“Pahang had no active cases, but all schools are closed also.

“And we know in Pahang there are many Orang Asli who live in rural areas, how are they supposed to keep up with their studies?” she asked.

Previously, Radzi said the education ministry decided to shut all schools nationwide since there are spike in Covid-19 cases in certain areas.

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