Experts divided on Esports implementation

KOUSALYA SELVAM
KOUSALYA SELVAM
03 Jul 2023 05:47pm
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
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SHAH ALAM - For Esports to be introduced in schools,there must be a clear policy framework, the implementation of which can be distributed to all schools in our country.

According to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Senior Lecturer Dr Anuar Ahmad, Esports should be implemented in rural schools too instead of only focusing on urban schools or high-performing schools.

"We don't want Esports to be focused on certain schools. This is because we want to attract these rural schools to be familiar with technology.

"If the Youth and Sports Minister wants to do this, there must be a clear framework," he told Sinar Daily.

Anuar lauded Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh's move to implement Esports in schools as this would be good exposure and development for students.

Anuar urged the minister to take the implementation seriously and to not leave the matter hanging.

"We hope the implementation of Esports is done seriously. Our ministers give good suggestions but when it is done, it is only focused on certain schools.

"We are aware that Esports will attract the attention of students, so I believe Esports will also motivate students to attend school," he said.

Meanwhile, Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE) Chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim was of the opinion that Esports could be a distraction for students.

"We don't see how Esports can make students perspire, to be fit physically, learn sportsmanship and build character which are characteristics of traditional sport.

"We don't see how the government is able to address these potential issues. More likely it will be a new burden to parents," she stressed.

Therefore, she said that it would be easier to stick to traditional sport.

"It would be easier to conduct sports outdoors. Sports does not discriminate, in fact sports unites.

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When asked on will the government address concerns about the potential negative influence of violent or inappropriate content associated with certain e-sports games, Azimah said Esports could potentially be a major burden to parents and a huge distraction to students.

"We are not confident that the government is, not just able to address, but to be quick enough to take precautionary measures and remedial action should the need arise.

"With record drop out rates of students post covid, disastrous academic performances, and an increasing number of students who still cannot read, write and count, parents do not need any more distractions," she said.

Last month, Hannah Yeoh said that Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) will collaborate with the Education Ministry to discuss the introduction of Esports in schools.

She said that it will be introduced as part of co-curricular and club activity in schools as there are currently no existing programmes at school levels.