PETALING JAYA: The Sept 1 proposal to reopen schools is only a tentative plan, reiterates Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
He added that Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin made it clear on July 17 that it was not a fixed date.
“Whether classes can start as scheduled by then will require assessment from and the approval of the National Security Council and the Health Ministry, who will make an official announcement.
“Irresponsible individuals and organisations with hidden agendas have accused the ministry of insisting on starting classes on Sept 1, regardless of the safety of students and teachers.
“I hope the public and educational organisations will not be misled by these false rumours,” he said in a statement on Friday (Aug 13).
He said in the past two months, the ministry held internal meetings to discuss the current progress of online teaching, and looked into exam year students’ preparation.
”We also received opinions and suggestions on resuming classes,” he added.
He said the ministry has received various opinions, including from parents requesting that classes be resumed as soon as possible so that their children can study “normally”.
“The ministry recently requested state education departments to collect ideas on resuming classes from parents.
“These data and information will serve as the basis for the ministry to make decisions.
“When discussing the various possibilities and modes of resuming classes, the ministry puts the health and safety of students, teachers and parents first.
“Currently, more than 85% of primary and secondary school teachers across the country have been vaccinated.
“We believe that all teachers will be vaccinated successfully by the end of August,” he added.
He said before the ministry makes any decisions, educational organisations can submit their suggestions and opinions.
Separately, the Pakatan Harapan Education Committee conducted a two-day survey, from Aug 11 to Aug 13, which saw 94.6% of 421,446 respondents disagree with the Sept 1 target.
Only 5.4% agreed, it added.
The respondents include parents, teachers and school staff, the committee said in a statement on Friday (Aug 13).
“The number of cases and deaths are increasing, making parents reluctant to gamble with their children’s lives,” it added.
A petition on change.org has been launched, urging the ministry to delay the reopening of schools.
As of press time, the petition has garnered 75,881 signatures.