THE state’s ‘E-Learning Computer Programme’ has proven to benefit needy students who do not have electronic learning devices, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Since it was launched in May, the programme has seen a total of 521 learning devices given to the students to pursue virtual education during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chow congratulated the ‘E-Learning Computer Task Force’, led by state Social Development and non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Chong Eng, for their noble effort in providing an opportunity for the students to pursue online education.
“It is a platform to help the needy students,” Chow said in his speech before the e-learning devices handover ceremony at Sunshine Square in Bayan Baru.
“Through the efforts of the private sectors, state agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the public, the underprivileged students are equipped with electronic devices to help them in their studies because of the restrictions imposed during the movement control order (MCO).
“The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the challenges faced by our needy students. Without the necessary e-learning devices, they will fall behind in their studies.
“To overcome this, the Penang government assures that the right to education is not compromised and no student is left behind in accessing electronic learning devices.
“The programme has created the platform for public involvement in social development to continue with the efforts in uplifting vulnerable communities and narrowing the inequality gap caused by the digital divide.
“Hence, I am looking forward to more NGOs and different sectors joining us in this meaningful programme.
“Lastly, the state hopes that the student recipients would derive great benefit from the devices and be able to utilise them wisely.”
The collected desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets would be sorted out and then presented free to the needy students after they have been repaired while obsolete devices would be sent to IRM Industries to be disposed of.
Chong Eng, who was present, said she was proud to collaborate with the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP), Penang Science Cluster (PSC), Penang Development Corporation (PDC), Penang Green Council (PGC), IRM, Sunshine, SwissPac, Dell and Intel.
She said the programme has moved to the next phase, which is to sustain the donation-giving cycle for a longer term.
“I am delighted that the NGOs are willing to play their roles to help the underprivileged students to possess digital devices for e-learning.
“In fact, 23 chapters of the Lions Club and five chapters of Junior Chamber International (JCI) have collected 219 units of used e-learning devices in just one month.
“With the collaboration from all parties, the task force is looking forward to helping more needy students to obtain their own e-learning device,” she said.
E-Refurbishing to E-Learning Programme head Chong Soon Kheng thanked the donors and companies for their contribution to the programme.
“They have successfully reduced e-waste and contributed to save the environment while helping the needy students as well,” he said.
Also present were IRM Industries president Datuk Goh Eng Hoe, Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Hwang Thean Long, D308 B2 district governor Datuk Yeoh Moh Chai and PGC general manager Josephine Tan.
Story by Edmund Lee
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud
Video by Ahmad Adil Muhamad