Mah: Move to minimise risk

PETALING JAYA: Reopening schools to only SPM and STPM students is a “balanced” decision to minimise risk of exposure to Covid-19 and disruption to tertiary education plans, says Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon (pic).

The Deputy Education Minister said the number of students who were presently allowed in schools only make up about 20% of the student population.

Opening schools to all students would lead to greater risk of exposure to Covid-19, he said.

He added, however, that postponing the SPM and STPM exams would further delay and disrupt teenagers’ plans for a tertiary education.

“This is a difficult dilemma, but a balanced decision had to be taken by the Education Ministry.

“To minimise risk, only students sitting for the SPM and STPM exams have to return to schools.

“Any postponement (of the examinations) would further delay and disrupt the future of our children, ” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Dr Mah said all schools were to follow stringent standard operating procedures, such as wearing face masks and physical distancing, and schools would also be closed immediately if Covid-19 cases were detected there.

“This is a balanced decision – one that minimises risk yet takes into consideration the grouses, suggestions and views of all parties, which include students, parents, teachers, and others.

“I know that this decision cannot fulfil the wants of every party, but we at the Education Ministry believe this to be the best one, ” he said.

Dr Mah added that the Education Ministry was also working with broadcasters RTM and Media Prima, as well as other television stations, to offer educational programmes on television channels for free.

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