This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on March 25, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Group is providing free mobile data and online resources to all public school students to help them continue learning while at home, in view of the movement control order period that has forced the temporary closure of all educational institutions until March 31.
This is to ensure that Malaysian children will not be disadvantaged during their time out of school and can continue to learn at home without the burden of additional costs to their families, YTL said in a statement. While universities and private schools are well-resourced and have moved to provide classes online, it said millions of parents with children in Malaysia’s government schools are left wondering about the status of their children’s education while schools are closed.
“To find out how it can support parents and students, YTL Foundation carried out a survey among parents with school-going children to understand their primary concerns during this period. The survey found that for 95% of parents, a key concern is how their children’s education remains uninterrupted while they are at home.
“90% of them have at least one mobile device available at home and are open to their children learning online but around 50% expressed the need for data to enable effective access to online learning resources. For those in the B40 (bottom 40% income) group, having to purchase data would be a huge burden, especially now when household incomes are at risk,” said YTL.
Hence, the group’s charitable arm, YTL Foundation, is collaborating with YES and FrogAsia to launch the Learn From Home Initiative. Under this collaboration, students can access FrogPlay Mobile, a gamified mobile app with revision quizzes for every core subject taught in national schools, from Standard One to Form Five. The programme is curated by education material publisher, Pelangi.
To provide online access, parents of children in public schools can obtain up to five free 4G prepaid SIM cards from Yes, one for each school-going child in the family. Each SIM card has a 40GB data plan that is valid for 60 days upon activation and will be couriered to homes, free of charge, said YTL.
“At this time when the country is facing the unprecedented crisis of keeping our citizens safe from the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to make sure that children are able to continue their education at home. We are therefore giving free access to FrogAsia’s online learning resources and providing free data via the Yes 4G mobile network. Our hope is that all children in this country will stay safe and stay learning,” said YTL Group executive chairman Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, who is also chairman of YTL Foundation.
“And as we care for our children at home, let us not forget the frontline heroes in essential services who are risking their lives out there, so that the rest of us can stay safely at home. We salute them with all our hearts. May God bless and protect all the rakyat of our beloved nation,” Yeoh added.