Tertiary institutions allowed to restart admin operations

PETALING JAYA: All higher education institutions (HEI) in the country are allowed to jumpstart operations provided they follow guidelines put forward by the National Security Council (MKN) and Health Ministry, says the Higher Education Ministry.

“Public and private HEI can resume operations starting May 4.

“HEI must consider allowing flexible working hours and encourage staff to work from home during the implementation of the conditional movement control order.

“Take into consideration whether staff need to be physically present or not to conduct the task, ” according to separate circulars the ministry issued to both public and private HEI.

The circulars were signed by Higher Education Department deputy director-general Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Saleh Jaafar.

The institutions have the autonomy to carry out operations starting yesterday according to the needs of respective organisations.

“HEI are fully responsible for the management of operations. Hence, they should provide an internal guideline as a control measure to curb the Covid-19 pandemic before beginning operations.“Staff safety and welfare should be given priority at all times. Meanwhile, all face-to-face teaching and learning activities continue to be suspended to avoid any sort of gatherings, ” stated the documents seen by The Star.

University of Cyberjaya (CU) Bursar chief operating officer and bursar Julian John said the university would likely start a rotational work schedule from next week onwards.

“Right now, we are still working from home. But we are in the process of putting in place work guidelines and other measures.

“A vast majority will be directed to work from home as their tasks can be completed online, including teaching and learning, ” he said.

He said CU would conduct online lessons for the upcoming semester in June to safeguard its students.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor said university staff were encouraged to continue working from home unless there was a need to enter campus grounds.

“If they do need to go to campus, they must first get permission from their head of department and must strictly observe the standard operating procedure in place, ” said Prof Hamdi, who will return to office today to attend to some matters.

Universiti Putra Malaysia deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Prof Dr M. Iqbal Saripan said the institution was still officially closed.

“Lecturers are still working from home. Virtual classes have been ongoing since April 27.

“However, the university is developing a standard operating procedure before allowing selected staff members to return to office, ” he said.

According to a Universiti Sains Malaysia spokesperson, some members of its staff started work yesterday.

“Staff from the security, health, bursary and a few more departments started work on campus on Monday (yesterday), ” said the spokesperson.

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