Negri MB urges Education Ministry to defer reopening of schools

SEREMBAN: The Negri Sembilan government wants the Education Ministry to defer the reopening of schools to Jan 26 or later, says Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun (pic).

The Mentri Besar said it was pointless to reopen schools on Jan 20 when the Negri Sembilan has been placed under conditional MCO until Jan 26.

"Since the MCO has been extended to Jan 26, it is best that the reopening of schools is also deferred.

"We, in the state exco, are worried that if schools are allowed to reopen on Jan 20, it will defeat the purpose of the MCO or conditional MCO as parents will still be going to send or pick up their children to and from schools," he told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting at Wisma Negri.

On Monday (Jan 11), the government announced the re-implementation of the MCO in Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor, Sabah and the Federal Territories from Jan 13 to 26.

The conditional MCO will be enforced in Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan while the recovery MCO will be implemented in Perlis and Sarawak.

Following this, the Education Ministry said students sitting for exams in states under the MCO would be allowed to return to school for lessons beginning Jan 20.

This involves 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 students, as well as equivalent international exams.

Students in boarding schools and in day-school hostels sitting for these exams, it added, would be allowed to return from Jan 16 onwards.

Primary pupils, as well as Forms One to Four students, will continue learning from home starting Jan 20 according to theirs and their teachers' suitability.

This also applies to SVM Semester 2 students and DVM Semester 2 students in vocational colleges.

It said educational institutions registered under the ministry, including private ones, in conditional MCO and recovery MCO states, will also operate according to their respective academic calendars.

Aminuddin said if need be, schools could be reopened in early February for face-to-face learning.

"For now, we must be fully committed to fight Covid-19. We should not be doing it half-heartedly as it will be difficult to flatten the curve," he added.

Separately, Aminuddin said only committee members of Hindu temples would be allowed to be present to celebrate Thaipusam at their respective places of worship on Jan 28.

This, he said, was to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

"It is our hope that the committees will strictly adhere to all the SOPs that have been put in place as well," he added.

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