Online learning had only been widely used for classes ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started in Malaysia. While many are still not used to the sudden change in learning method, this continues to be a challenge to both the teachers and students.
On Sunday (11 July), the University of Malaya Students’ Union (UMSU) has sent an open letter to the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to urge them to look into the issue of burnout among students urgently.
UMSU said that the issue had been even more serious ever since the online distance learning (ODL) had been implemented.
This comes after the death of 2 Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) students due to the extreme stress caused by their academic workload, where the first victim was 22 year old Nurul Natasya Ezreen and the second victim was 21 year old Muhammad Adham Hazim.
In the open letter, UMSU said that they have previously fought the issue at the university level. Nonetheless, as the issue seems to be of the concern of students nationwide, they are urging all universities to take appropriate action to resolve this issue.
UMSU also mention that students from numerous other universities also requested their university administrator to change their approach pertaining online learning.
UMSU also believes that the relevant authorities should not ignore the voices of the students who raised the issue as it is their rights to voice out if the issue affects their lives.
Nonetheless, they also called MOHE to intervene the universities’ decision and to look into the welfare, as well as the mental health of the students nationwide.
At the same time, UMSU provided several proposals for MOHE to tackle this issue, including reducing students’ workload, extending deadlines, and providing study breaks before final examinations.
Additionally, they called on all lecturers to respect the opinion of the students before making any academic decisions, especially when it comes to class assignments.
“All student representatives from other universities should speak up to their respective university administrators about these issues.” they said.
Lastly, UMSU hopes that Malaysians, especially the government to take the issue of students’ mental health seriously, especially during this challenging times.
They added that they will not compromise with any party who tries to silent and deny the voice of students.
“Silencing this issue means that the lives of students are not given consideration.” UMSU said.
Read the open letter from UMSU here: