Kindies taking extra precautions

A safe space for learning: Children from Jetland Kindergarten attending their lessons with the SOP in place. — KT GOH/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: With more than 90% of children now returning for physical lessons, kindergartens are not taking chances when dealing with the deadly Covid-19 virus.

Parents have to get their temperatures scanned at the gates, and both parent and child will have to go home if either one of them has above-normal body temperature.

Malaysian Kindergarten Teachers Association national president Sally Ng said many of the kindergartens even went one step further: parents whose MySejahtera status is yellow (casual contact without symptoms) will also be asked to bring their children home although the move is not listed under the government’s standard operating procedure.

“Every day, besides scanning the parents‘ temperature, we will also check their MySejahtera status.

“So far, all the parents are cooperative and receptive to the move as they know this is for our own good.

“Prevention is always better. We have the authority to set the rules and regulations,” said Ng, whose association has 400 members statewide and 3,000 members in seven states.

She added that their members also would not allow visitors during kindergarten hours.

“Parents who want to make enquiries have been asked to either come after office hours or on weekends.

“In schools, teachers are told to have minimum physical contact with the children.

“Our members make it mandatory for all the teachers and staff to take Covid-19 self-tests either weekly, fortnightly, or every 10 days.

“We have to take such precautions as many people are asymptomatic nowadays,” she said.

Ng said attending physical lessons would be more beneficial and practical for children.

“Children below six years old have a really short attention span. Physical lessons are more practical as children need hands-on activities. This is vital for their social development as they need to mix with others to learn,” she added.

At a pre-school in Sungai Ara, its owner-principal Grace Ng said with the school now recording full attendance, cleaning and sanitising work was done at the classrooms, toilets and high-touch surfaces every 90 minutes.

She said the disinfectant and sanitiser used were Sirim-certified.

“All our children have to put on face shields on top of face masks, although this is not part of the SOP which only requires children to wear face masks at all time.

“The face shields are sanitised every day before being put up to dry in the school. We even prepare a plastic container for each child to keep their shoes before coming into the premises,” said Grace.

She said the teachers would also check on the children to ensure that they were comfortable with having face shields and masks on at the same time.

“We get and welcome feedback from parents on how to enhance the hygiene and cleaning process in the school.

“At our premises, there are 10 air purifiers now, with four added on since July 1 last year,” she said.

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kindergartens , Covid-19 , MySejahtera


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