Cerdik, an initiative to provide computers and tablets with data connectivity to B40 students, has announced that it will provide at least 50,000 students with devices for online learning by the end of next month. Meanwhile, the remaining 100,000 devices are expected to be distributed by end-September 2021.
According to the official statement, 13,000 devices have already been distributed by Government Linked Companies (GLC) and Government Linked Investment Companies (GLIC) to various State Education Departments. It is said that more than 1,000 students have already received their devices. It added that the funding for this pilot project has been generated solely from GLC and GLICs and corporate donors, with their own due governance processes.
Cerdik has also mentioned that all devices for students have been certified as up-to-date with adequate capacity for software upgrades to serve the student’s academic needs for at least three years. The devices are said to offer appropriate quality, functionality and safety checks to prevent or minimise mishaps and learning disruptions. To assist students, Cerdik devices also come with necessary technical support and warranty to minimise interupttions to digital learning.
Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Abdul Aziz said “COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption en masse, with remote learning increasingly becoming the norm. CERDIK was conceptualised to bridge the socio-economic gap by facilitating digital learning for the lower income households. This pilot project is a great enabler for digital learning, which must be a core component of our children’s education if we were to take advantage of the economic benefits afforded by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The Cerdik pilot programme is contributed by several corporate donors which include Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Yayasan Petronas, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Employees Provident Fund and Lembaga Tabung Haji.
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had previously pointed out that the Cerdik initiative is similar to school textbooks lending scheme where students have to return the devices in good condition. Previously, it was mentioned on the website that the devices are offered as a loan but now it appears that the text has been revised without the mention of “loan”.
The FAQ on the website still mentions that the devices are property of the Ministry of Education and it will come with a SIM card with data for a period of at least 12 months. The previous mention of RM300 penalty for any damage has also been removed from the FAQ.
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