Esports may soon be introduced as a co-curricular activity in Malaysian high schools but the move has met resistance from concerned parents.
The proposal was first mooted by then Malaysian Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan in February last year following the introduction of esports as a subject in Indonesian high schools.
The suggestion also comes on the heels of the announcement as an official medal event at the upcoming SEA Games in the Philippines.
The minister was reportedly in talks with the Malaysian Youth and Sports Ministry on the possible inclusion of esports in the national high school curriculum.
The Esports Kuala Lumpur Association (ESKL) and the Federal Territory Council said they planned to introduce esports as an activity in all high schools in Malaysia’s capital city.
However, the Parent Action Group for Education expressed concern over the possible negative effects in schools.
The action group cited addiction, poor time management, indiscipline, and poor social skills as issues that needed to be addressed.
“It is not clear if the known side effects of playing video games excessively… will be attended to. However, we appreciate that esports aims to entice students to get out of Internet cafes and ensure social ills such as loitering are curbed,” Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim was quoted as saying.
One initiative that is being made to mitigate these issues is with the formation of Esports MedicA, which is a team of medical experts aiming to promote healthy online gaming among youths.
Despite the issues that come with esports, several esports advocates agree that its inclusion in the Malaysian education system will be beneficial.