NUTP says ‘no’ to phones in school

By May Robertson

PETALING JAYA, April 20 — The Education Ministry’s proposal to introduce Information and Communications Technology (ICT) gadgets in schools has received outright disapproval by the National Union of The Teaching Profession (NUTP).

Its president Kamarozaman Abdul Razak said he does not agree with the suggestion by the ministry to include ICT devices in classes although it is meant to facilitate studies.

He said it could lead to more disciplinary problems like stealing and bullying.

“Those who cannot afford gadgets may feel inferior to the rest,” he said.

The ministry on Tuesday said students, would possibly be allowed to bring gadgets, including their laptops, tablets and smartphones to school.

“It is not a healthy emotion and their confidence could be bruised when some students do not own these gadgets and this may lead to other adverse side effects such as disciplinary problems.

“It is better that existing computer labs and libraries in schools be upgraded, so all students will have a fair chance at learning through the use of technology,” said Kamarozaman.

He also added using computer labs for research purposes would reduce the chance of students visiting potentially unwanted websites.

“In the computer lab it is a controlled environment where they cannot browse unnecessary pages,” said Kamarozaman.

“Since the ministry’s announcement was made on Tuesday, I have received many calls from teachers and they are worried.

“They are afraid it will be difficult to control students if gadgets are allowed in classrooms,” he said.

Kamarozaman also added teachers had complained of taking a long time to settle students down before being able to teach, and allowing electronical devices in class would cause more stress on teachers.

“If gadgets are to be introduced, it is very important to make sure it is used in a safe and conducive environment that doesn’t cause stress on anyone.”

Meanwhile, parents’ groups had mixed emotions about the announcement.

The proposal was said to be discussed within two months before a conclusion was drawn.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the devices would be used in class according to the time and subject. He said the ministry would need two months to finalise the proposal before implementation.