The new school term in Malaysia will start on 21 March and the Education Ministry had just issued some guidelines amid the worsening Covid-19 situation in Malaysia.
In a press conference on 5 March, Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said students in Year 3, 4, and 5 from schools with an enrolment of over 600 pupils will attend classes on a rotational basis in the new school term.
As for those in Year 1, 2 and 6, as well as those with special needs in SK Pendidikan Khas, Integrated Special Education Programme, and Supplementary Food Programme (RMT) recipients will attend physical school sessions without rotation.
He added that these regulations apply to private school students, including expatriate schools and international schools.
However, there are exceptions where primary schools with fewer than 600 pupils are required to attend face-to-face classes without rotation, and this includes all public and private school, expatriate schools and international schools.
“However, for private primary schools, including expatriate schools and international schools with more than 600 students, applications can be submitted to the Education Ministry for consideration to fully operate without rotation,” he added.
As for secondary schools, students will start their school term with home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) for 2 weeks starting 21 March.
Following that, all secondary school students will start to attend face-to-face classes without rotation. The same policy applies to private school students including expatriate schools and international schools.
“As for Form 1 students who have successfully been enrolled into a boarding school, registration will be carried out online. These students can choose to either undergo PdPR or attend a day school near their residence until the date of admission to the boarding school is announced.”
“However, for private boarding schools that have the capacity to manage the entire student body, the school can be fully operational including new Form 1 students,” Radzi said.
Radzi said that only matriculation students who have been fully vaccinated are allowed back to college in accordance with the Guidelines for Management and Operation of Teacher Education Institute and Matriculation College 3.0.
“For matriculation colleges, students are allowed to go home during mid-semester breaks and festive holidays as well as return to college in stages. Students will attend face-to-face teaching and learning in college and those who are still at home can attend via PdPR.” he said.
Flexibility in returning to school and school attire
Radzi said students are are allowed to wear appropriate attire if the existing uniforms are no longer suitable.
He added that if parents decide not to send their children to school, it would not be considered a disciplinary offence, but they must inform the school for record purposes.
Meanwhile, Radzi said the Education Ministry will implement Covid-19 screening for primary school pupils under the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 testing strategy. This will require Covid-19 tests done at home under the guidance of parents or guardians.
“School authorities will identify the students involved and distribute test kits with Covid-19 Self-Test Implementation Confirmation Slip to be taken home by students.”
“Screening test results must be reported to the school in accordance with the guidelines,” he said.