KUALA PILAH: The Education Ministry has yet to decide if the new school term will begin in March every year from 2022, says its minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin (pic).
"There are plus points; if the new term starts in March every year, students sitting for exams like the SPM will not have to worry about floods during the monsoon season," said Radzi.
"Also, the waiting time for these students who wish to enrol in universities later will also be cut short," he added, saying that the Ministry would consult all stakeholders before a final decision is made.
Prior to this, the Ministry had decided that the school academic year for 2022 will begin in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic which forced schools to remain closed for months this year.
Students and pupils will remain in their current Year and Form until February 2022, before moving to the following session in March 2022.
On Monday (Oct 4), some 143,000 students were back for face-to-face lessons following the re-opening of schools in all states except in Kedah and Johor.
Radzi said based on his own observations, the attendance rate was very good.
"The attendance especially for those sitting for SPM and students in semester two of the STPM is really good.
"The trend is similar to when we reopened schools in June last year and March this year.
"I am also happy to note that the compliance to the relevant Covid-19 standard operating procedures is also good," he told reporters when met after a visit to SMK Tunku Kurshiah here.
Schools in Kedah and Johor are scheduled to reopen on Oct 10.
Radzi said the attendance of pre-schoolers and special needs students was also high.
"Since it’s only a day since schools in some states reopened, we are unable to give the data yet," said Radzi.
"But we are moving towards reopening schools for all students in stages and ensuring the entire education ecosystem is put back into place," he added.
Schools started reopening in stages from Sunday (Oct 3), beginning with exam year students.
Students from Terengganu, Kelantan and Langkawi in Kedah, resumed face-to-face classroom lessons in schools on Sunday.
Another 94,000 in other states except Kedah and Johor returned on Monday.
Parents have the option not to send their children to school yet.
The Ministry has introduced a rotation system where only half the number of students attend school for face-to-face learning with the remaining continuing with home-based teaching-and-learning.
Radzi said a small number of parents have, however, decided not to send their children back to school for now.
"Some parents have informed the schools about this. But this is normal and we expect the children back in school soon," he said.
He said some parents may also be concerned that some 2,000 teachers have yet to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
However, Radzi said this is a small number as there are 415,000 teachers at some 10,000 schools nationwide.
"We hope this will be resolved soon as the Public Service Department has also issued a directive asking all government servants to be vaccinated," he said.
He had previously said the Ministry's decision to prohibit these teachers from participating in face-to-face learning would not affect the teaching-and-learning process.
Radzi expressed hope that all schools will continue to strictly adhere to all standard operating procedures.