Stop MOE from implementing DMA (Device management application) on students laptops.
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Please note -
The only views that I share are those expressed personally by me in this petition. I am not affiliated with any other groups/communities that are discussing this topic similarly online.
The MOE has made public that DMA (Device management application) will have to be installed on at least one laptop/personal learning device per student.
The DMA has 3 main functions.
1. Classroom management service. This allows the teacher to be able to control and monitor the use of the PLD to "improve student management and deliver effective teaching." In other words, teachers are able to disable student's PLD's at any time, show you content at their own descretion, as well as seeing what content you may currently have.
2. Mobile Device Management Service. This facilitates the remote deployment of teaching and learning applications and comes with security patches. Schools may also leverage the Mobile Device Management Service to install the school’s teaching and learning resources.
In other words, this allows the school/teacher to be able to install/run any program, malicious or not, on your PLD, at their own discretion.
3. Usage Management Service. This addresses stress to the student’s eyes from prolonged use and cyber wellness concerns, such as excessive and inappropriate use of the PLD.
This effectively allows the school/teacher to be able to control how much one uses a PLD, as well as whitelist/blacklist any programs that you may need to run, with you having no real control over how they can do it.
In conclusion, we students are unhappy that the MOE requires such a program to be installed on our PLDs, be it our personal ones or ones purchased from the school, due to how little control, freedom, and privacy we have. This may also put many students information and data at risk to hackers, as they can easily access the data if such program is breached.
Help us get the power we need to defend our privacy. Although we understand that the MOE and schools need some way to control the students, we can not force every student to install the DMA, and instead must reach a comprimise.
The DMA is also a technological solution to a social problem. Even if we assume that the system is truly foolproof while still allowing efficient learning, the fact remains that this does not address the crux of the problem-students may lack self-regulation abilities. Blocking the computer will not result in students suddenly acquiring stupendous amount of self-discipline. They still have access to their phone and other devices. Will the DMA help students become more mature? Will it bring about lasting behavioral benefits? Will it solve the root of the problem in the long term? Or will it bring about temporary, superficial, short term consent, at the cost of a permanent opinion malus, a hatred of authority, and a loss of privacy? Does MOE not strive to build a values-based education? Although I believe that the DMA scheme was made with good intentions, the devil is in the details. Resources can be better spent on teaching values education. The Singapore Government spent $5.2 million on developing and acquiring the safentry app, $2.4 million on the tracetogether app, and 6.2 million on the tracetogether token. Hence, we can conclude that the cost of the DMA will be in the hundreds of thousands, if not in the millions. Why not spend the money on values education instead? Even if a percentage of the money is used to subsidies the purchase of a laptop for less privileged students, there would be plenty of cash leftover. This could be redeployed into teaching students moral values that will stay with them for a lifetime. Such methods are: organising more in-depth and better training for Character and Citizenship Education(CCE) teachers, researching and developing new and relevant pedagogies, and investing in experiential learning techniques. Schools can also organise both virtual and physical workshops for parents to teach them how to raise children with strong self-discipline. MOE can also roll out monitoring systems for the parents. As they know the children best, parents will be able to calibrate suitable time limits. They will also be able to make the judgment call that is best for themselves and their children, due to the workshops mentioned earlier. Every child is unique, and they all have their own methods of learning. A broad-based, sweeping change may not cater to everyone's needs. Instead, I propose a system that equips the two groups closest to students- parents and teachers with the knowledge and aptitude necessary to ensure the future generation grows to become self-disciplined, temperate and morally strong.
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