Up to parents whether to send kids to kindy

PRIVATE kindergartens registered under the Education Ministry can continue face-to-face operations in states under the movement control order but it is up to parents to send their children for lessons.The move, explained Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, was to accommodate working parents.“The implementation of the MCO this time is different from the much stricter MCO held last March. This time around, various sectors of the economy are allowed to operate.

“Therefore, to enable working parents to send their children to kindergarten, we are allowing kindergartens in MCO states to operate face-to-face but we leave the decision to parents, ” he said during a press briefing in KL on Jan 12 (pic).While tuition centres in states under the MCO are not allowed to have face-to-face operations, teachers wishing to conduct extra classes after school hours within the school’s premises for exam-year students, are permitted to do so.

Teachers with illnesses who are worried about returning to schools in states under the MCO must provide medical proof.

Teachers must provide certificates from their doctors and discuss the matter with their head of department.“Consideration will be given upon discussion, ” he added.

Teachers are required to return to their stations before Jan 20, when schools reopen.Teachers who are involved in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) and Diploma Vokasional Malaysia (DVM) 2020 and 2021 exams in all states – regardless of the form of MCO they are under – are required to attend school, Radzi said.

Similarly, students sitting for these exams in all states, are to return to school on Jan 20 for lessons, he added.

This applies to students who will be sitting for the equivalent international exams for 2020 and 2021.Radzi also said the total number of students per class is based on the classroom’s capacity for physical distancing, “We have not set rules for how many students a class should have but it will follow the previous standard operating procedure, where it is based on classroom capacity, ” he added.

Radzi said primary school pupils as well as Forms One to Four students will continue learning from home on Jan 20 based on their and their teachers’ availability in states under the MCO.

“In conditional and recovery MCO states, Forms One and Four students will return for face-to-face lessons on Jan 20, while Forms Two and Three students will continue home-based learning until March 7, ” he said.

Students in boarding schools and in day-school hostels who will be sitting for exams, he added, are allowed to return from Jan 16 onwards.

Special authorisation letters to cross districts and states will be issued by the schools.

Additionally, educational institutions registered under the ministry, including primary schools and private institutions, in conditional MCO and recovery MCO states, will operate according to their respective academic calendars, Radzi noted.

“The distribution of textbooks for students will be handled by the schools, ” he said.

Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah as well as the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan have been placed under the MCO while the conditional MCO are enforced in Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan. Perlis and Sarawak are under the recovery MCO.Earlier at a separate event, Radzi said the ministry’s commitment has always been to get students back in school but such a decision has to be made in light of the Covid-19 situation and measures taken by other ministries in the government as a whole.

“When children don’t go to school for a prolonged period of time, their daily routine changes and in the long run, this will impact their personal development.“While we want them to go to school, it is not a decision that can be made easily. “Detailed planning that takes into account the latest Covid-19 data is required.

“Views of all stakeholders including parents, teachers and students, are taken into account, ” he said, adding that there over five million students, 500,000 teachers, parents, grandparents and other interested parties paying close attention to the ministry’s every move.

“Overall, 32 million Malaysians are impacted by what happens with the school system so we are very careful with whatever decisions we make, ” he said this when presenting back-to-school supplies to students in PPR Desa Rejang, Setiawangsa, on Jan 9.

He added that while Malaysia could look at what other countries are doing, the fact that the situations and circumstances are different here, have to be taken into account. – By SANDHYA MENON

For reopening of school details, call 03-88845020,88845336,88845022 or 88845122 or email pertanyaan.bgpss@moe.gov.my.

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