Johor Education, Information, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Mazlan Bujang told the state assembly on the 23rd of August that gadgets for online learning that were specified in Ihsan Johor 3.0 stimulus package announced earlier by Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Hasni Mohammad, in July 2021, would be handed to the students this September 2021.
“These devices will be made as school assets and this facility will be loaned to a total of 8,000 underprivileged students. This initiative includes supplying 8,000 pocket Wi-Fi with a special Broadband Internet line for the use of students who will sit for their SPM in 2022,” he said.
The implementation of the programme has involved Johor State Secretary’s Office and the Johor State Science, Technology, and ICT Division (BSTICT) for execution and Johor State Education Department was consulted first to foresee the specifications in the devices to be deemed appropriate. Before making purchases through the procurement process procedures in place, the government undertook a market analysis to determine the value for money of this implementation.
The procurement was made in July 2021 with a total cost of RM25 million for 8,000 new devices and the devices will be distributed to schools by early September and are expected to be completed in November 2021. Currently, the government cooperates directly with device manufacturers without going through third parties to minimise any disruptions.
Mazlan also said that his department is aware of the gadgets and device aid made by other government and non-government agencies, including private entities and individuals.
“We will propose to include (the device aid for students) in the 2022 budget. If unable to increase the quantity of the devices, we can connect Wi-Fi line rental payments to selected students. This all depends on the projected financial capability of the state government next year,” he concluded his statement.