PETALING JAYA: Education groups have expressed doubts about whether the DidikTV network, with just one channel, will be effective in educating students of all levels.
Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education chairman Mak Chee Kin applauded Putrajaya’s initiative to help those without devices or internet connectivity, but said many problems would arise as the channel aimed to educate students from pre-school right up to Form Six.
“Looking at the timetable, I feel that just one channel is insufficient,” said Mak.
“Maybe the government should have another channel. At least, we can break them into a primary channel and a secondary one. If the government wants the desired results, they can’t be so ambitious to cater for all at one go.”
While the quality of teachers chosen to present the programmes has been up for debate, Mak said, the bigger issue was the lack of interaction between teachers and students, and whether DidikTV could cater to students’ different levels of understanding.
Harry Tan, secretary-general of the National Union of the Teaching Profession, pointed out that DidikTV’s success would partly depend on a student’s discipline to sit before the television the entire day.
He questioned how teachers might assess their students’ developments in the near future, and how families with multiple children would be able to tune in to the television at the same time.
With the one-sided nature of education programmes, he wondered how a student who had questions about any lesson would raise it or have it answered.
Meanwhile, Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, chairman of the Parent Action Group for Education, pointed out that parents had been forced to buy newspapers to find out the timing of DidikTV’s programmes, which was an added cost for B40 families.
“We would like to suggest that an intermittent and useful crawler be added at the base, so students know what to expect and can plan their day for terrestrial television, while smart televisions could have it on the channel guide,” she told FMT.
Although DidikTV airs for 17 hours a day, Noor Azimah said, the first day had only catered to 6.5 hours of formal learning for Year Two, Form Two, Form Four and Form Five students, while the remaining hours were on Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) subjects, of which three hours were on Bahasa Arab alone.
“It can be an effective tool only if there is full concentration on formal learning for all years on a daily basis. To attract parents and students on the launch day, the core subjects taught by top teachers should have been showcased. First impressions are crucial for sustainability,” she said.
Launched yesterday, DidikTV broadcasts teaching and learning programmes based on the education ministry’s curriculum and co-curriculum, along with edutainment programmes and student-generated content.
It is accessible on the existing NTV7 channel on MYTV (107), Astro (147) and Unifi (NTV7), as well as on terrestrial TV, from 7am to midnight daily.