Classrooms reopening in two weeks

PETALING JAYA: After nearly four long months of home-based learning, Year One to Form Four students will finally return to school.

Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said Years Five and Six pupils, Forms One to Four students, remove class students and Form Six Semester 1 students will resume face-to-face classes on July 15.“Years One to Four pupils will return on July 22, ” he said during a live telecast yesterday.

Forms Five and Six students returned to school on June 24, with their attendance in the first week at 92.4%, he added.

Radzi said the decision to reopen schools for the other students was made after consulting the Health Ministry and National Security Council.

“These dates apply to all government schools, government-aided schools, private schools and any educational institution registered with the Education Ministry, ” he said.He added that schools not registered with the ministry were recommended to follow these dates.

He said education centres, including tuition centres, language centres and enrichment centres registered with the Education Ministry, could also resume operations on July 15.“Social distancing, hygiene and safety are the priority when face-to-face lessons resume, ” he said.

There are three models of operation that schools can choose from.

“The school will determine which model to use once they reopen based on their own available space and capacity, ” he said, adding that social distancing had been taken into account.

Model 1 is for schools with enough rooms to accommodate all students and conduct lessons within one session.

“Schools that choose this model will operate as usual, ” said Radzi.

“Model 2 comprises dual sessions for schools that are not able to accommodate all their students in one session or schools already having dual sessions.

Latest update: Radzi speaking during the press conference at Putra Perdana in Putrajaya. — BernamaLatest update: Radzi speaking during the press conference at Putra Perdana in Putrajaya. — Bernama

“Model 3 recommends a rotational mode and will be used by schools that cannot accommodate all students, even with two sessions.

“Students will continue with home-based learning on the days they are not scheduled to be in school, ” he said.

He said most schools in the Model 3 category were in high-density areas.

“The space and capacity of each school is different. After taking into account social distancing aspects, some schools can accommodate all students as usual while others cannot, ” he said.

The school will propose their choice to the ministry, which will release the list of schools and their operation model one week before schools reopen.

For secondary schools using Model 3, Radzi said Forms Five and Six would have to attend school daily while other students would be on rotation by class or stream.

But he said the school should consider a student’s needs when determining who would go to school.

“For example, if a school has enough space, Form Four students will attend every day. Priority is given to those preparing for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams next year, ” he said.

He said the ministry was taking into account the need to reorganise logistics for the SPM 2020 exams to be held in the first week of 2021.

“This includes specifying dates for next year’s school session to ensure it goes well. It will be finalised in the 2021 academic calendar, ” he said.Radzi said co-curricular and sporting activities remained off the table for now and if Covid-19 cases were detected in any school, that school would refer to the Health Ministry and fully comply with all measures determined by it.

Radzi said students in residential schools, especially those using bunk beds, could return to school between 28 and 42 days from June 24.“Based on the Health Ministry’s recommendation, in the early stages of return, students will only use the bottom bunk.

“After 14 days, a new group of returning students will be allowed into the hostel and the previous batch will take the upper bunk, while the new students will sleep on the lower bunk. This procedure will continue so that all students can stay in the hostel, ” he said.

Radzi acknowledged that home-based learning had its limitations such as Internet connection.

“If this situation persists, students will face difficulties in achieving the minimum level of mastery for each subject, ” he said.

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