Laptops for needy students is to complement Federal’s initiative – Arifin

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KOTA KINABALU: The 10,000 laptops being distributed under phase one of the state Bantuan Ehsan Komputer (BAIK) initiative will benefit needy students sitting for three major examinations in Sabah this year.

Special Tasks Minister Datuk Haji Mohd Arifin Arif said the gadget would allow the candidates to follow online lessons under the home-based teaching programme (PdPR) that was implemented due to the movement control order.

Datuk Haji Mohd Arifin Arif. Photo credit Special Tasks Office

Apart from that, the BAIK programme, which was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor recently, would complement the Federal government’s initiative to give out 150,000 laptops to schools in the country.

It was made to understand that only 29,000 units of the laptops would go to Sabah namely for Form Three students and Year Four pupils, he said.

“Off course, these are not enough to cover all the school children in Sabah, hence the State government’s decision to implement BAIK,” he said in a statement here today.

Recently, Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had queried the State government’s decision to give laptops to students, which was also being done by the Federal government.

Meanwhile, Arifin said State Education Department data showed that 19,000 underprivileged students in Sabah are sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) examinations this year.

At the same time, the number of school children in the B40 category in the state was around 37,000.

“The State government chose SPM, STPM and STAM candidates because the laptop comes in handy when they go for further studies at higher learning institutions,” he said.

Arifin said the State goverment’s initiative to assist needy students had also received good response from the district education offices (PPD) that he visited.

Besides that, he said the State government through the Special Tasks Office is also giving RM200 cash under the examinations special assistance (Bakti) to 37,835 students sitting for the SPM, STPM and STAM 2021 examinations in the state.

Other State goverment’s initiatives coordinated by the Special Tasks office included the one-off RM2,000 cash to help students from a household with RM5,000 and below income register in the university.

Another initiative was the RM300 cash assistance for all Sabah students who were stranded in their university campus around the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.-BorneoGazette

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