The channel, available from 7am to midnight daily, is meant as an additional resource for students undergoing PDPR
by ASILA JALIL / pic by TMR FILE
THE Ministry of Education (MoE) is campaigning for students to tune in to DidikTV KPM, its free-to-air teaching channel, on digital platforms even as some school-children face difficulties accessing the online Covid-19 era at-home learning programmes.
The ministry’s channel, which is operated through Media Prima Bhd, is designed to bridge the gap between students who have Internet access and those who do not because they have no coverage or devices.
Media Prima Television Network and Primeworks Studio CEO Datuk Khairul Anwar Salleh said the MoE and Media Prima is ramping up social engagement to drive home the message that the programmes can be accessed through television, as well as digitally via other online platforms.
He said DidikTV, which is available from 7am to midnight daily, is meant as an additional resource for students undergoing home-based teaching and learning (PDPR) while schools are shut during pandemic restrictions.
The programmes on DidikTV follow the national schools syllabus closely and would benefit students whether they tune in via television or digital platforms.
“We aim to provide students with learning materials and make them accessible for all through all available platforms.
“DidikTV KPM also incorporates selected excellent teachers who are able to close the learning gap between urban and rural area students. Together, they can benefit from this initiative,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.
After the first round of school closures, students returned to in-person classrooms in March this year, but were kept home again when Covid infections surged in May.
All in all, Malaysian school-children attended in-person classes for only six months in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs acting research director Wan Ya Shin said home-based learning cannot replace the physical method at schools as they not only demotivate students, but also pose a multitude of challenges to those in rural areas with limited access to the Internet.
Therefore, alternative means such as DidikTV KPM would be important in ensuring the continuity of learning at home, especially for students without Internet access, she said.
“DidikTV KPM has to ensure that it covers all syllabus for students from preschool to secondary school during the Movement Control Order period.
“The programmes must also capture and retain the attention of students. As it is different from teaching and learning in classrooms, students could always switch off the television if they do not find the content interesting,” she told TMR.
She said efforts from both parents and teachers are required to ensure students get the best learning experience at home.
While students may find difficulties in staying focused during online classes, teachers are also faced with the inconvenience and limitations in managing an online classroom.
“New and creative ways of handling online classrooms are needed to engage students.
“Creative activities and learning from one’s environment based on exploration would help students to be more interested in the learning process.
“It is more challenging for teachers teaching in an online setting as students can simply log out and walk away as they are not physically in the classroom or with the teacher.”
Meanwhile, parents can make online classes pleasant for both teachers and students by ensuring their children attend and participate in the scheduled classes diligently and helping their children with homework where possible.
“In these challenging times, it requires additional effort by both teachers and parents to ensure that the students get the best learning experience at home and not fall behind in their education,” Wan said.