Digital learning to stay post-pandemic

It would serve as a complementary mode of education to traditional face-to-face mode


EDUCATION via electronic communication platforms will remain even with the resumption of face-to-face learning post-pandemic.

Earlier last year, Media Prima Group Bhd rebranded its NTV7 channel into DidikTV Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (DidikTV KPM) to improve access to quality education for Malaysian students.

This is given the group’s wide reach nationwide across both traditional and digital media as well as its quality content production capabilities.

EduAdvisor co-founder Loh Sue May believes that DidikTV KPM would still be available after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has definitely shown that education via digital means is possible, and that’s why we think DidikTV KPM and other similar digital education platforms are here to stay.

“Perhaps after students fully return to school, these platforms would serve as a complementary mode of education to traditional face-to-face model,” she told The Malaysian Reserve.

Loh also hopes that the government can also continue investing in technology and infrastructure so children from less-privileged communities can get equal access to quality education.

Coursera Inc (Asia Pacific) MD Raghav Gupta previously said new findings reveal that the gender dynamics for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning could evolve differently online.

STEM courses enrolments among women learners in Malaysia increased from 29% in 2019 to a significant 36% in 2021, according to Coursera’s Women and Skills Report 2021.

“By knocking down location and time barriers, online learning provides all-important flexibility for women balancing careers with personal commitments, by fitting learning into their lives,” Raghav said in his article.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also made Malaysian students reconsider their plans for studying overseas.

According to Cambridge International’s Annual Destinations Survey, 84% of the 300 Cambridge schools worldwide revealed that their students changed their minds about studying abroad.

This is mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic causing uncertain situations, travel restrictions and financial difficulties.

Another 62% also prefer to delay their studies due to the same reasons.

More than half of international students (60%) wished to study in Malaysia as it has good value for money due to the global economic downturn.

In turn, this gives more opportunities to students who opt for less-costly higher education institutions.

Cambridge International regional director South-East Asia and Pacific Ben Schmidt said Malaysian Cambridge International AS and A-Level students previously wished to pursue their higher education in traditional destinations such as the UK, the US, Australia and Singapore.

“Now, Malaysia has become the No 1 destination country.

“Many students are avoiding universities in the US due to high Covid-19 rates,” he said in a recent statement.

Although their decisions are based on safety concerns and financial considerations, Schmidt has yet to understand whether these changes are caused by the pandemic or indications of a more sustained trend.

Highlights from the report also indicated that engineering, medicine, mathematics and law are the most popular courses among Malaysian students, while a few prefer to pursue accounting and finance, mathematics and psychology.

Cambridge International Head of Global Recognitions Kevin Ebenezer believes that the pandemic has caused heavy pressure on education nationwide and this has reflected in the student’s preference for their higher learning institutions.

“However, despite such a challenging year, it is positive to see that an estimated 70% of Cambridge students went on to attend a top 500 globally ranked university in 2020, compared to 68% in 2019,” he said.

The most popular nations for Malaysians to study abroad are the UK and Australia, where they both host 24 and 13 of the top 500 globally ranked universities respectively.