Mon, 01 Apr 2024 Feature Article

The Distribution of Tablets to Students is a Misplaced Priority.

The Distribution of Tablets to Students is a Misplaced Priority.

The government recently announced its intention to distribute tablets to students as a means of enhancing learning outcomes and keeping up with the digital age. While the intention behind such initiatives may be noble, it is also essential to question whether this allocation of resources truly addresses the fundamental challenges faced by students and educators. The distribution of tablets, touted as a symbol of progress, may indeed be a misplaced priority when considering the more pressing needs of educational institutions in the country.

One of the critical issues overshadowed by the emphasis on tablets is the lack of modern libraries and textbooks. Many schools, especially in rural areas or underserved communities, struggle to provide students with up-to-date learning resources. Without access to comprehensive libraries and textbooks, students are at a disadvantage, relying solely on digital devices for their education may exacerbate this problem rather than solve it. In most schools, there are no reading textbooks for the students to use which makes it difficult for teachers to teach effectively. Therefore, I, think the provision of these materials has more advantages than tablets.

It may be argued that these tablets can be used to assess learning material online but the presence of a physical library adds more to learning because students will not need data to access reading materials and other learning tools in the library as compared to the usage of a tablet.

Furthermore, the condition of classrooms and dormitories in many educational institutions is far from satisfactory. Crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, and inadequate living conditions can significantly impact students' ability to focus and learn effectively. Prioritizing the distribution of tablets over improving these essential facilities neglects the basic needs of students for a conducive learning environment.

The government can provide each student with a tablet but if there are no better places for effective teaching and learning, the use of the tablet will amount to nothing. Is the government aware some students don't even have seats in their classrooms to sit down and learn? In their dormitories, the story isn't different since a space that is meant for 10 to 15 students is occupied by 20 to 25 students who are packed like pieces of frozen meat. If the government isn't concerned about the comfort of these students what about their health issues too? Should there be an outbreak of any contagious disease, these students will suffer the consequences and the risk will be unbearable.

In addition to physical infrastructure, the availability of teaching and learning materials is another area that requires attention. Many teachers struggle to deliver quality education due to the lack of resources such as textbooks especially for teaching English comprehension or other reading tasks, instructional materials, and teaching aids. Instead of investing in expensive tablets, allocating resources towards the development and provision of these materials would have a more direct and tangible impact on the quality of education.

Stable electricity is another fundamental requirement for effective teaching and learning, particularly in regions with unreliable power supply. The reliance on digital devices exacerbates the challenges posed by frequent power outages, rendering tablets useless during critical learning moments. Addressing the issue of stable electricity should take precedence over distributing tablets, as they form the backbone of any modern educational system. There are even some communities without electricity and there are schools located in such places. How will the tablets work in such situations since they need to be charged and other gadgets installed before the tablets can be used?

Moreover, the motivation and professional development of teachers are crucial factors in ensuring quality education. Many teachers face low salaries, a lack of training opportunities, and limited career advancement prospects. Investing in initiatives to support and motivate teachers, such as improving working conditions, providing professional development opportunities, and offering competitive salaries, should be prioritized over the distribution of tablets. A tablet without a teacher is useless and nothing can be achieved.

Another issue that is a concern is allowing students to use these tablets in schools. We are faced with the challenge of students using smartphones wrongly. So, how is the usage of a tablet going to be different?

In conclusion, while the distribution of tablets to students may seem like a step towards modernization in the area of technological improvement and progress, it is essential to recognize that it does not address the underlying challenges faced by educational institutions in the country. Issues such as the lack of modern libraries, textbooks, classrooms, dormitories, teaching and learning materials, stable electricity, and motivation for teachers must be addressed first. Only by prioritizing these fundamental needs can we truly ensure equitable access to quality education for all students.

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024