According to the previous announcement from the Ministry of Education (MOE), schools are set to reopen on 1 September. However, as the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia worsens, many had been calling for the MOE to delay school reopening.
Yesterday (15 August), the Minister of Education, Dr Radzi Jidin had in a Facebook video, announced that school reopening will be delayed to 3 October.
In addition, he clarified that schools nationwide will reopen in stages, starting with those students in their exam years, namely Form 5 and 6. This will only be applicable to schools in states which have transitioned into Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
“States which are still in Phase 1 of the NRP cannot reopen until they transition into the Phase 2.” he said, adding that the students’ safety is the ministry’s utmost priority.
“On 17 July, when we announced that the reopening of schools in stages would start on 1 September, we also mentioned that it would depend on the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Security Council (NSC) recommendation and risk assessment.”
“We must make sure that the overall education ecosystem is fully prepared and there is minimal risk for all our children when we reopen schools.” he said.
Meanwhile, he said that the ministry had made the announcement on 17 July, their intentions were to request all parties involved, including teachers and support workers to be prepared before all schools can be reopened.
“For instance in the third phase, NSC’s SOPs allow all schools to reopen but there is still a clause where the Health Ministry must conduct a risk assessment together with all the other ministries involved before making a decision. This is to ensure that it is indeed safe for children and teachers to go back to face to face classes, depending on the situation at the time.” he said.
Nonetheless, he said that the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia remains uncertain and volatile, and this made it difficult for the ministry to give a definite answer as to when schools will reopen.
“Any decision has to be made upon risk assessment by all ministries and the NSC.”
“We have to look at it state by state because some states have good statistics and vaccination rates, for instance Labuan and Sarawak. In these states, the risk assessment may be low, allowing schools to open up faster compared to states which are still in the Phase 1 of the NRP.” he said.
As for the preparations from the ministry, he said that as of date, 92.4% of teachers and 72.4% of school support workers such as cleaners, bus drivers and canteen workers have been given at least one dose of vaccine.
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Watch the full video by the Education Minister here: