PETALING JAYA: After a bumpy year of online classrooms and missing their classmates, most students are excited to finally resume in-person learning.
Form Five student Fatema Yasser is eager to return to preparing for her SPM examinations as well as being with her friends on her final year of school and capping off her eventual graduation with prom.
The 17-year-old science student said the past year of mostly online learning had been overwhelming, adding that she had received more homework.
She still prefers in-person learning although she and her three other siblings enjoy good Internet connection and reliable gadgets at home.
“Going to school is better because we can easily ask teachers questions if we don’t understand something and I’m also happy that I’ll get to see my friends again.
“As for safety, I’m not too worried because strict standard operating procedure (SOP) is in place. For example, we have to keep a distance from each other and school assemblies are no longer held.
“Each form also has a different dismissal time to ensure that there is no overcrowding or mixing of students, ” said Fatema, who attends school in the Klang Valley.
Her 14-year-old sister Hafsah agrees, saying that explanations were not as thorough during online classes.
“When you want to ask questions, sometimes the teachers have already moved on, ” said the Form Two student.
Year Four pupil Ariff Zaffran Khairil Azlan, 10, said learning online was not enjoyable at all compared to being in classrooms.
“It is more enjoyable for me to be in school because I can interact with teachers and friends, ” said Ariff Zaffran, who had to share a smartphone with two other siblings, aged nine and seven, before they returned to school on March 8.
Creative director K.C. Sam’s 18-year-old son is going back for his Senior 3 final year studies at a Chinese independent school in Klang despite having to wake up earlier.
“After having to study at home and online for close to a year, the feeling of seeing his friends back at school again is thrilling.
“This is his final year and I think it will be sad to end his secondary studies ‘online’ without getting to see his friends and teachers again, ” said the 49-year-old.
However, Sam said his son was worried about crowds.
“I have the same concern too, especially when his class has over
50 students. I’m not sure how physical distancing can be practised, ” he said, adding that he could only make sure that his son maintained good personal hygiene by wearing face masks and washing his hands frequently.
Sam said the onus would be on the school authority to enforce strict SOP and alert parents or close contacts of any positive cases.
Tutor Nadirah Abdullah, 51, said her son, who is in Form Six, had gotten too used to the new norm of not having to get up early for school during the movement control order.
“He knows he will have to get used to the school reopening and he will be fine as he really looks forward to learning with friends again, ” said the mother-of-three from Shah Alam.
Nadirah will be accompanying her son to school today to check on their SOP adherence.
“I’ve told him to avoid crowd at all times, especially at the canteen, ” she said, adding that she would be preparing him meals.
Housewife Prema Pekasam, 49, prefers online classes for her 15-year-old daughter, saying it is much better and safer.
“She actually likes it very much.
I feel safer with the kids home and it’s so much better compared to the open environment. Anyone can walk into a classroom with the virus, ” said Prema, who is worried about reports of recent Covid-19 cases in schools.
In anticipation of continuous online learning, she has also invested in second-hand laptops for her three children, aged 15 to 19.