TV Pendidikan a better alternative, experts say


EDUCATIONAL television (TV) programme, TV Pendidikan, can be a better alternative platform for students in primary and secondary schools nationwide compared to online learning methods, experts said.

Limited Internet connectivity, lack of gadgets and non-conducive households are among reasons why online learning could put off some students on school lessons.

Educationist Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that it is practical to utilise TV Pendidikan as it could be broadcast to all segments of society, and ease parents’ burden in providing a laptop for their  children.

Still, Alimuddin believes that the production team involved in TV Pendidikan has to make the content more interesting and not solely based on text books.

“One-way communication via TV Pendidikan is a big no as students these days are easy to lose focus, so the content has to be interactive.”

“The educator can use more images and maps for history subjects, for example, that can attract the students to learn,” he told TMR in a phone interview.

Alternatively, Radio Pendidikan is also a learning platform for students in the interior areas.

He said besides teachers, parents play an important role to ensure that the students are keeping up with their school lessons — which have taken a setback due to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Earlier this week, Senior Minister (Education) Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said there are other methods to be used by the teachers, such as preparing educational materials for home learning, as well as through TV Pendidikan.

“We will improve these methods so that pupils without Internet access and devices are not left behind,” he said in a news conference on Jan 12.

TV Pendidikan was re-introduced via TV Okey for two hours a day beginning April 6 last year, making its total airtime at nine hours per day, including on Astro’s Tutor TV (four hours) and NTV7 (three hours).

On the TV Pendidikan viewership, Mohd Radzi said the programme aired on TV Okey since April 6 has recorded a cumulative audience of 1.8 million, while the programme that broadcast on the Astro channels garnered 5.4 million viewers.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) urged the Education Ministry to ensure comprehensive coverage of main subjects for all levels, from primary to secondary on TV Pendidikan.

IDEAS Social Policy Unit research manager Wan Ya Shin said the resumption of online learning without addressing the challenges, such as lack of proper devices, access to the Internet and steady connection, will result in a “lost generation” and increase education inequality.

“We need to expand the coverage and reach of teaching and learning to students who do not have access to online learning as they are the most vulnerable and more likely to drop out of school.

“The expansion of classroom teaching via TV should be comprehensive to cover all main subjects for all levels from primary to secondary to be aired on TV throughout the day to ensure that children are not left behind,” she said in a statement.

A policy paper published by IDEAS, titled “Brief Ideas No 19: Education During Covid-19” suggested that TV would be the best reach as 98.6% of households have TV compared to only 87% households with Internet access, according to the ICT Use and Access Survey in 2018.

IDEAS CEO Tricia Yeoh said after almost a year of experiencing continued disruption to our children’s education, we must now identify innovative solutions to ensure the pupils are able to continue learning.

“The Covid-19 situation is nowhere near easing, and implementing TV-based learning is certainly a low-hanging fruit that can be immediately put into place.

“I look forward to seeing how the government can adapt existing facilities creatively to achieve continued education,” Yeoh concluded.

Read our earlier report

Teachers worry about learning gap due to limited e-learning access