The year 2020 has been a tumultuous one for educators. Hundreds of thousands of teachers across the globe had to get to grips with online platforms to deliver their lessons. Millions of students were stuck at home doing their lessons via websites like Zoom. This has created an unprecedented transformation in education as technology has taken centre stage. The quality of education differed around the world according to the quality of Internet connections, the level of preparedness of teachers and their competence in engaging with the technology. It also depended on what kind of devices students had at home. Many students were deprived of lessons because they had no computer, tablet or smartphone.
The Education Ministry in Malaysia has rolled out a new initiative to help underprivileged children. Around 150,000 eligible pupils from 500 schools will receive a device to enable them to participate in online lessons. The Education Minister hopes to build on the success of this initial rollout to expand the programme. He said: "Apart from assisting pupils and schools in need, this pilot project is to find the best implementation method before it is proposed for expansion." The plans include enhancing educational television programming for students with no Internet access, and employing sign language interpreters to help the hard of hearing. A teacher said she was happy her government was prioritizing students' needs.