Staying safe in schools

Fighting Covid-19: Teachers will be part of the Phase Two vaccination programme.

STUDENT safety remains a top priority for the Education Ministry amid the growing number of cases and clusters being detected in schools.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon (pic) said his ministry, together with the Health Ministry and the National Security Council, have faced complex and difficult decisions when deliberating on the reopening of schools.

“The planning, implementation and monitoring of school reopening have definitely not been easy, ” he said during the launch of the BeMyHero School Pandemic Prevention & Caring Programme on April 30.

Mah said the ministry always strives to ensure that the policies, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and other safety measures are put in place when reopening schools.

“The ministry is confident that principals and teachers have been dutifully implementing and following the SOPs and guidelines put forward by the Health Ministry and the National Security Council, ” he added.

But this alone is not enough, Mah said, and the fight against Covid-19 at the school level requires everyone’s cooperation.

He said the BeMyHero School Pandemic Prevention & Caring Programme aims to boost Covid-19 prevention efforts through various ongoing activities until August.

He added that besides seminars to raise awareness among students, teachers and school heads will be given reusable face masks, hand sanitisers and other protective gear.

Mah said more than 500 schools nationwide will also be sanitised under the programme.

The programme is co-organised by the GoCare crowdfunding site – an initiative by the Crisis Relief Squad of MCA (CRSM) – and LA Branding.

GoCare consultant Datuk Lim Chong Ly said they will be carrying out the sanitisation works whenever schools allow them to enter.

However, she added, they will not be conducting the mandatory sanitisation during the two days when schools have to close due to the detection of Covid-19 cases among their fraternity.

On another matter, Mah said teachers will be part of Phase Two of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, as announced by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

At a joint press conference with Health Minister Dr Adham Baba on April 19, Khairy said 500,000 teachers from the government and private sectors will be vaccinated.

The decision was made after taking into consideration several aspects and factors such as risk of infection, especially with schools having reopened, he said.

He added that the Education Ministry will compile the list of teachers for the programme.

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