Online classes till the end of the year will likely see many Private educational institutions go bust with few able to survive on razor-thin margins amid a tough global economic environment.
“Already before the outbreak of COVID-19, many were just keeping the head slightly above water. But the recent ruling is only likely to exacerbate their woes,” says a respected private educationist.
The industry is likely to see a shake-out that will see many players perish from the scene unless urgent intervention in the form of assistance is rendered by the government as opposed to adding to their woes.
The government announced yesterday that all colleges and universities are to conduct online teaching and learning activities until Dec. 31.
Reacting to the official stance, the educationist questions the motive behind the ruling.
She also questions the reason for the local institutions to go online for the next 6 months.
“There should be an SOP for these institutions instead of a blanket ban on face-to-face lessons, which will kill the business,” the expert says.
The source says private education institutions have to fend for themselves as they do not get ‘government’ aid.
“The ruling for only online classes adds to their woes and limits their capacity to enrol new students.
“The 6 months period is lengthy and do not favour such institutions which are not well prepared for online classes, whether you like it or not.
“There is no necessity to defer for such a long time. The Ministry of Education has not given a rationale for extending the closure of universities and schools for a period of six months when the COVID-29 numbers have come down,” says the educator.
Another source told WFTV it appears the ministry is incapable to enforce SOPs and rules hence they are pushing for a unilateral shutdown.
“It is unfair to these institutions that have invested a lot of money in their system and curriculum. The ministry and the authorities should instead discuss with them before deciding on the next move in the sector,” the source says.
Speaking to WFTV, a student says it is not worthy to pay a huge sum of money for online classes in Malaysia.
The answer to that is to defer the semester and take up the studies after the Conditional Movement Control Order is over, says the student.
The student also says it is not fair to pay huge sums and to get only online classes where it is difficult for the lecturers to give full support to students and to appraise their work.
“It can already be seen that in the past few months, the results are not the same as when you attend face-to-face classes,” says the student.
The experts agree that the prescription is for colleges to adhere to SOP, not a blanker closure.