Parents worry that operating models may cause issues later on

PETALING JAYA: Some parents are worried that the operating models recommended by the Education Ministry in reopening schools may invite more chaos than calm.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin said allowing schools to choose might cause unnecessary problems.

“The operation of schools involves teachers, students, parents and even school bus operators.

“Many urban schools had been practising two sessions prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“So, many may opt for Model 3, which brings with it problems such as transportation arrangement, ” he said, referring to the rotation basis.

He questioned whether the Education Ministry would standardise the implementation of the rotational system.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said while the models, especially Model 2 (dual sessions), might seem feasible, the ministry should rethink it.

“This is especially for schools that already have double sessions. Model 1 will suit remote, rural and some suburban schools.

“Model 2 is more suited to overpopulated urban schools, but it may not be a popular option with parents who have children in different sessions, ” she said.

National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Harry Tan said the ministry’s recommendations catered to schools with a huge student population.

“The selection of which model works best for schools will be determined by state departments in consultation with the schools, ” he said.

Teachers agree that it is better for schools to decide what is best for them.

S. Sri Murugan, an English language teacher in a secondary school in Subang Jaya, said his school would likely opt for Model 2.

He said the school had just over 1,000 students and there were not enough rooms to accommodate all of them in a single session.

He said the ministry must take teachers’ welfare into account as “we have been shouldering extra load due to classes being split up, and as a result, the number of teachers is not sufficient”.

Koo, a Form Six teacher from Melaka, said his school had 1,800 students and due to insufficient classrooms, the school might opt for Model 3.

“It is better for schools to choose the operating model as we know our school’s condition best, ” he said.

A principal from another secondary school in Subang Jaya said she would be opting for Model 3 as it would give all students a fair chance to attend school.

“We want to ease our teachers’ burden as well, ” she added.

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