There needs to be a sustained strategy and concerted effort between government agencies in ensuring that students in rural and remote areas were not left out in the process of teaching and learning online.

According to National Association of Parents and Teachers Association (PIBGN) president Datuk Mohamad Ali Hasan, the digital divide needs to be addressed first and foremost.

As a starting point, he said, there should be efforts to get the best possible input from e-learning experts across the country to ensure the initiative was comprehensive and effective.

“We recommend the District Education Office or State Education Office as a local coordination centre, and we hope to ensure that access and content do not impede effective assessment and monitoring.

"We also expect a multi-faceted approach, in the form of human interaction, as well as physical, emotional, intellectual and social learning elements," he said when contacted by Astro AWANI today.

On April 10, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called on the Ministry of Education to implement home-based learning initiatives during the duration of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

He explained that this will be done continuously until the school session reopens.

However, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey, 48 per cent of students in the country do not have access to computers at home for educational purposes.

Meanwhile, 23 per cent or 1.3 million students do not have internet access.

In the meantime, Mohamad Ali said he hoped that parents and guardians, as well as teachers as stakeholders in the initiative, would also be given priority in ensuring that it was truly effective.