A Fundamental Right

on Wednesday, 18 August 2010

It's great that the Education Ministry of Malaysia is giving away netbooks to students in my school who do not have these books. These are how the books are given to the students:

1. Only 1 per family
2. Low income families receive it
3. Parents must come personally to take it.

I think this is a great step to emancipate students from a non-tech world. I can't accept it if my students tell me that they do not have a computer or any access to technology at home. This is a good response from the government to ensure that these people are covered in some way. I'm sure the netbooks aren't avant grad in any way but this is enough.

I have to say though that although skeptics would like to talk about political agendas, this act itself is very good for the people receiving these netbooks. You have no idea how many kids I teach tell me that they do not have access to the internet. They don't even know what is Microsoft Word and what it means when I say,

Just go home and Google it if you want to find out more.

The many functions of Google

Even worse is that when I talk about all the technology and the easy access people outside their little world are receiving, their eyes say it all: they want it; they long for the taste of tech. I remember reading an article in BBC once http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8548190.stm saying that access to the internet is now known as a basic fundamental right. I believe so and agree to the argument that one cannot compete in the world if one does not have access to the internet.

Well, the government didn't give free internet access.. just the netbook with a wireless device. The only free wireless internet they can get is if they choose to access the school's wireless network... wait... even that is barred with a password... wait... kids can't bring netbooks to school right? How are they going to enjoy the internet access then?

Hmmm... a free netbook doesn't necessarily mean free internet access eh?

Let's take it step by step, OK?


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