By Azlee Nor Mahmud
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — The national education system may still resume during COVID-19’s Movement Control Order (MCO) but with a different approach, said the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii).
Chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said this is by giving more freedom for students to learn at their own pace guided by a digitalised curriculum that can be accessed by both the parents and students.
He said the digitalisation of education is the low-hanging fruit with many applications already existing to replace conventional schooling with online classrooms.
“The mechanics of home schooling or working while taking care of the young ones (due to closure of childcare services) remain unresolved,” he told Bernama today.
He said with the closure of the large chunk of the schooling system, the reliance on the education system to teach children has been shifted to the parents.
“Time that was consumed to earn a living for the family must now be reinvested in continuing the learning process for the young ones.
“The prolonged MCO has certainly impacted the circadian rhythm of our young ones. Personal experience from the accounts of my closest colleagues tell of strange hours in their children’s’ activity at ungodly hours of the night,” he said.
He said the hard truths followed that it would take time before Malaysia could reopen physical services that educate or care for the children.
Madani said the unavailability of daycare centres has also forced mothers to multitask, juggling between care for their young children while attempting to complete tasks assigned by their employers.
He said some faced even bigger difficulties with the demands of on-site work without the security of proper childcare services, creating difficulties for female staff burdened with their domestic responsibilities.
“In this regard, perhaps productivity software may provide a potential remedy if they can be programmed flexibly to cater to a multitude of patterns and scenarios based on the situation faced by each family,” he said.
He said a task management software can prescribe a conducive working schedule between the employer and the employee based on the availability of the breadwinner.
“This means that the application can schedule meetings, task management, and work-related activities based on suitable times of the working mother -- when the husband is at home or when older children can take the time to care for their younger siblings.
“The technology reminds the mother that it is time to fulfil her office duties,” he said.
Madani said when the daycare centres and schools eventually open, they most likely would not be able to cater to the same capacities they once did.
He said it is possible to develop big data management system that could schedule childcare services based on the work-from-home rotation of all the parents of children in a particular childcare centre so that everyone within the community could enjoy the independence of working, while not being overburdened by their family responsibilities to a point that they cannot generate income.
In conclusion, he said to fight the pandemic, the nation must look for ways to economise the new norms in order to stay healthy while remaining sustainable and relevant.
“Moving forward, one of MARii’s primary roles is to address the issues of both living and livelihood through the application of digital technology.
“We believe that technology can bring novel solutions to balance our physical, emotional and economic needs, and we look forward to get feedback from the community in developing new solutions to face the new norms,” he added.
Madani's views can also be read at https://www.bernama.com/en/thoughts/news.php?id=1842595, a newly introduced THOUGHTS column on Bernama.com that provides a platform for experts in various fields to share their opinions and ideas on numerous topics and current issues.
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