Just when we thought that in this age and time, our infrastructure should have improved years ago – INTERNET CONNECTION is still one of the issues that has not been addressed well yet especially in rural areas of Malaysia.
And when we were hit with the Covid19 pandemic, students from the rural areas in Malaysia struggled to keep up with their studies online due to unavailability or weak internet connection. Even during the RMCO period this is still a struggle too.
In this campaign, we address the plights of rural students (and teachers) in Sabah that not only struggle with internet connectivity but also limited access to online learning due to old or lack of suitable devices. Most of them are of old models and unable to support the heavy datas. Their plights are not limited – there are many others that are waiting to be discovered.
Plight Of Sabah’s Students With Online Learning
by Angie Chin
Days to go
Campaign End Method
Due to several Covid19 MCO phases implemented in Malaysia, and the implementation of online learning, to get better connection, rural students in Sabah had to walk miles away to the end of their village where the signal (4G) is the strongest. Some have to climb up trees, roofs, hills or even sat on a suspension bridge to get nearer to the signal from nearby telco towers.
Come rain or shine, they have no choice but to do this (every single day throughout the MCO period) to ensure that they do not miss any classes due to recorded attendance. We shudder to imagine children from as young as 7 had to struggle and find ways to get access to the internet just to study.
Remember this story? Bridge over troubled Internet connection: 3 Sabah teens injured and that’s just about connectivity. Not to mention parents that own old smartphones that couldn’t support online learning nor afford to get a new one. Most of them work as farmers or rubber tappers and depends on daily or weekly wages.
For some kampungs, the villagers cleared a small area in the nearby jungle to built a wooden makeshift hut, complete with bamboo table/bench and a simple zinc roof or plastic sheets to protect them from rain and sun.
To study at the hut, they brought along fully charged laptops, books and portable power banks for their mobile devices. There is no electrical connectivity to charge devices at the hut. If there is a thunderstorm, most of them had to run back home with their school bags. Its disheartening to learn how they have to inevitably go through this just to ensure they do not miss their online class.
In order to raise more funds, we have resorted to selling t-shirts and Inspiring Women Of Malaysia Card Game too.
WHAT DOES THESE STUDENTS NEED?
According to a data survey, there were at least 1,182 national schools in Sabah. And perhaps more than half of these are situated in the rural areas of Sabah. You can imagine the number of students that were affected.
Hence, we have pledged to keep this campaign on going throughout this pandemic period to ensure we continuously gather funds to assist the challenged income students with the followings:
- New Laptop (preferably with MS Office).
- New Tablets or Smartphones.
- WiFi Modem.
- Data SIM Cards.
We strongly recommend NEW devices due to:
- New devices are able to support online learning better.
- Old devices requires fixing and the cost to repair usually costs MORE than getting a new one. New devices comes with a service warranty in case there is a manufacturer defect.
Since data connectivity is an issue in most of these kampungs, and MCMC has banned signal boosters, we are exploring the possibility of installing a satellite dish by ConnectMe (www.connectme.my) but this too comes with initial budget to install, deposit payment and not to mention monthly repayments for 2 years. At least RM2,000 is required for each installation.
Since we are not sure of the total estimates required (also depending on how many students we can assist) we hope Malaysians can be generous to chip in.
We put on an achievable amount of RM50,000.00 to at least help us kick start.
ANY spill over balance received from pledgers/donors or items in kind (as mentioned above) donated by compassionate parties, we endeavor to forward them to deserving students in Sabah that are truly in need. While our priority focus is on the rural B40 families, we are also open to help M40 families that were economically affected on a case to case basis.
OUR LONG TERM VISION/MISSION
We were appalled to learn that throughout Sabah itself there were only 3 (THREE) Pusat Internet Desa and 86 Pusat Internet 1Malaysia. We believe this was the initiative of the then Government. Unfortunately, it is NOT known how many of these centers are even working or still active. Most latest updates on these centers were in year 2015 and that was 6 years ago.
Nevertheless, we aspire to work on a more sustainable long term plan, that is to come up with Adopt A Kampung Program to engage community and empower rural folks to sustain the project. However, we cannot do this without the State Government’s support. We welcome collaboration to work on this plan eventually.
AN APPEAL TO ALL
Hence we are appealing to all generous Malaysian (and Politicians from Sabah Land Below The Wind) to work together with us on this mission. Every pledge that we receive will go into this campaign pool of funds so we can continue to GIVE the much needed help to rural students in need.
Latest update (3 February 2021): In the meantime, we have secured a partnership with Huawei and Umobile late last year (2020), where Huawei had donated 60 tablets and Umobile sponsored one year of free data to students in need. However, we believe that this is NOT enough and we hope to secure more similar partnerships with other device vendors/telcos.
LINKS TO OUR CAMPAIGN STORY IN THE MEDIA
For more info about this project or to arrange donation in kind (new laptops, tablets, smartphones, modems etc), kindly contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
eLearning under plastic sack roof.
Thank you The Star, Malaysia for covering the campaign story https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/one-mans-meat/2020/06/24/e-learning-under-plastic-sack-roof.
Since the campaign story was published, relevant agencies and VIP has gone to the village to visit the siblings makeshift hut and rendered the necessary assistance. Nevertheless, there are still other students in rural Sabah that still needs our help.
Sabah teens build hut in clearing to keep up with Online Learning.
Thank you Malaysia Kini, for covering the campaign story https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/532601.
We still continue to raise for many more students in need in rural areas of Sabah. While the connectivity issue is something that is beyond our capabilities – we can only highlight them in our campaign and hopefully the relevant parties will take notice, our focus now is to get the necessary devices to ensure the students able to access learning online.
We are still far from target goal.
We wish to kick start the pledge to the campaign and we need your support on the newly launched Wonder Women Of Malaysia Card Game. Initially, its a personal passion project of the platform Founder with hope to raise funds to publish Coffee Table Book that showcases Inspiring Women in Asia. However, the plan is now shifted to support this campaign.
For every ONE set of card game that you purchase, we will donate ONE set for one Student.
Plus, a net profit from the sale will go to the campaign.
If you wish to support and place your order, you may do it here https://bit.ly/wunderfuul
|Anonymous||RM50.00||February 17, 2021|
|Niza Yahya||RM300.00||February 16, 2021|
|Jerry Hang||RM100.00||February 16, 2021|
|MOHD ZUBAIR SULAIMAN||RM20.00||February 11, 2021|
|Carol Fung||RM50.00||February 08, 2021|
|Anonymous||RM20.00||February 03, 2021|
|Irene mositol||RM50.00||February 02, 2021|
|Anonymous||RM50.00||January 23, 2021|
|Siti Nuraishah Ahmad||RM100.00||November 01, 2020|
|Sarah Yazmien||RM5.00||October 30, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM10.00||October 27, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM10.00||October 26, 2020|
|Willing Tan||RM100.00||October 25, 2020|
|Meagan Mitrovich||RM400.00||October 23, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM5.00||October 13, 2020|
|Ruth Miranda||RM50.00||October 13, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM50.00||September 05, 2020|
|Phillipa Yoong||RM100.00||August 27, 2020|
|haryzal Hariry||RM400.00||August 24, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM50.00||August 23, 2020|
|Nicole Hernandez||RM10.00||August 12, 2020|
|Derrick Teh||RM500.00||August 03, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM1,200.00||July 18, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM10.00||July 18, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM50.00||July 18, 2020|
|Kenny Ku||RM100.00||July 16, 2020|
|Yasmin Rasyid||RM100.00||July 12, 2020|
|SOPHIA WIE||RM5,000.00||July 10, 2020|
|SOPHIA WIE||RM1,000.00||July 10, 2020|
|Hooi Chuen Keh||RM50.00||July 08, 2020|
|Jemilah Mahmood||RM200.00||July 08, 2020|
|Meng Yew Kee||RM1,200.00||July 01, 2020|
|Yuvanesh Kumar||RM10.00||July 01, 2020|
|Suan Goh||RM100.00||June 30, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM10.00||June 30, 2020|
|ivy ambrose||RM20.00||June 29, 2020|
|Elaine Elysha Irwanto||RM50.00||June 29, 2020|
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|Derrick Teh||RM500.00||June 28, 2020|
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|biana yap||RM500.00||June 25, 2020|
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|Anonymous||RM200.00||June 24, 2020|
|Ng Hui Xin||RM100.00||June 24, 2020|
|Carol Fung||RM50.00||June 24, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM50.00||June 24, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM10.00||June 24, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM10.00||June 23, 2020|
|Derrick Teh||RM1,000.00||June 20, 2020|
|Kenneth Wong||RM100.00||June 20, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM200.00||June 19, 2020|
|Kin Peng Tan||RM50.00||June 19, 2020|
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|Geresuk KC||RM100.00||June 16, 2020|
|Anonymous||RM50.00||June 16, 2020|