THE: issue concerning heavy school bags as well as the spread of Covid-19 in educational clusters in the country can be easily resolved with the implementation of online learning processes.
In recent days, we have been made aware of heavy school bags among students.
The issue has raised a deep concern among parents and guardians as it involvesv the health and safety of their children. This is hardly a new problem in Malaysia.
The issue has been raised many times even before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
However, no concrete solutions have been put forward to resolve this problem, which in turn has resulted in the issue being brought up once again.
The time has come for everyone to accept the reality that our world has changed in many ways.
The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 has changed people lives globally.
The lives of students in schools and universities has also changed.
Students have begun adjusting themselves to new norms and lifestyles, including the learning process, by utilizing and adopting technology.
The use of technology removes the need for heavy school bags entirely as students just need to have a device and internet excess to carry out their learning.
Unsurprisingly, we have not heard complaints about heavy school bags when online learning was implemented in 2020 and 2021.
It was when we started opening schools and allowing face-to-face interaction early this year that the issue reared its ugly head.
At the same time, one must not forget that the number of Covid-19 cases, especially involving educational clusters in the country, is still very high and a worry to many.
Is it wise to ask our students to go to schools and universities to face the high risk of infection?
All these issues can be resolved if we go back to the online process.
The government through the Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry should draft a comprehensive plan to make online learning in our schools and universities part of our education policy, and to make them fully and permanently implemented as it would offer many benefits to everyone in the education sector , especially students.
Though the plan to utilize online learning has been developed over the last few years and implemented in some schools and universities, it has not been fully implemented and utilized.
It was only when facing a dire situation such as the Covid-19 outbreak and the enforcement enforcement of the movement control order forcing schools and universities to close that everyone was forced to make use of these modern teaching and learning methods.
Online learning has many advantages, especially for students.
Some of the advantages include course material accessibility, flexible scheduling, more academic options and the opportunity to build valuable skills.
Online learning is a popular alternative to physically attending a brick-and-mortar room in school or university.
While not every course or subject has an online option, a large number of them do and many of these programs are internationally and nationally accredited.
Online education allows for the attendance of class as long as the student has access to the internet.
Online learning is, in many cases, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so students can participate in classes whenever it is most convenient.
They can also choose between a variety of scheduling options.
While some courses are conducted synchronously requiring students to attend online sessions at specific hours others are self-paced, allowing students to complete assignments in their own time.
Financially, students can also save money, since some online programs cost less per credit hour and there are no transport and meal expenses.
Online learning also provides opportunities for individuals to build valuable life and professional skills.
The online learning process can help students improve their time management skills and increase their level of discipline.
Based on these benefits, the modern method of teaching and learning should be the way forward for our education sector.
The government should place more emphasis on this by making online learning a permanent part of our education system through the coming budget announcement.
More money needs to be allocated in this area of education so that everyone can have access and fully utilize this modern mode of education.
Our teachers, lecturers and students in schools and universities need to be given enough facilities and training in order to make online learning a permanent reality and not just to be used or utilized during an emergency or when faced with a pandemic.
Muzaffar Syah Mallow: is a senior lecturer of Faculty of Syariah and Law at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM). Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org: