E-learning access should be improved
As education institutions close in Malaysia and the Movement Order Control (MCO) is in place, schools are embracing digital teaching and learning to respond to COVID-19, however there is still a need to improve e-learning access.
Despite a number of skills training institutes being on board with e-learning, TVET institutions face difficulties conducting courses online as a large part of the syllabus involves hands-on practical training.
Some of the challenges for TVET when it comes to e-learning includes the lack of access to gadgets that can cater to low-income families; and students have a lack of interest academically therefore do not participate.
TVET stakeholders need to understand how to adapt and conduct training without compromising with high training standards. It is also important for TVET institutions to receive recognition from the Malaysia Qualifications Agency (MQA), industry-led bodies and employers for TVET to be successful under the MCO period.
Nordin Abdul Malek, the President of the TVET action committee suggested ways to overcome challenges brought upon by COVID-19. He suggested for the Human Resources Ministry (JPK) to have a common e-learning platform for all skills training institutes, as everyone is currently using different platforms. He also suggested that JPK should have standardised measures for conducting e-learning.
To equip students with the necessary software and hardware for e-learning, there needs to be a bigger allocation for skills training institutes under these circumstances. Private skills training sector is ready to implement e-training but the government must ensure there is access for every student nationwide if this digital drive is to be successful.
If the future of teaching and learning is directed online, governments must face challenges regarding accessibility, especially for those students in rural areas.
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