PETALING JAYA: All public institutions of higher education (IPTA) must begin the second semester for the current academic year between April 27 and June 1.
The Higher Education Ministry said the decision was made following the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to April 14.
“The decision was made after an in-depth discussion with representatives from all IPTA and private higher education institutions and taking into consideration several factors, ” it said in a statement Saturday (March 28).
“However, this proposal is based on the government's latest decision on the MCO, ” it added.
The ministry said that among the factors considered were the current MCO period and directives regarding Covid-19, the students’ safety and welfare and the Hari Raya holidays which falls on May 24.
It also took into account the location of local and international students, with the majority of the students back home or with their families.
The Ministry added that it has considered the readiness of higher education institutions to implement teaching and learning using a variety of methods including online learning, and also the need to end the current semester and begin the new 2020/2021 academic year.
“With the MCO extension, the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year is expected to begin in mid-October 2020, ” it said, adding that private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) are free to choose their own start dates based on their own academic calendars and taking into account the above factors.
“Based on this, IPTA needs to manage the return of their students to the campus (in phases and prudently) taking the above factors into account, ” it continued.
It added that all higher education institutions have to inform their students, both local and foreign, of the latest academic calendars.
“The ministry will immediately notify all higher education institutions of any amendments or updates to this proposal should any changes to the MCO be decided by the government in the future, ” it said.
It added that it is deeply concerned with the well-being of IPTA and IPTS students and are constantly receiving reports on their status especially on campus, so that appropriate assistance can be provided to them.
The country is currently under an MCO from March 18 to April 14 following a rise of Covid-19 cases in the country.
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