Stick to SOP for safe school environment

PETALING JAYA: Despite the Omicron variant threat, the education session should move on in accordance with the strict standard operating procedure, says a public health expert.

Universiti Putra Malaysia medical epidemiologist Assoc Prof Dr Malina Osman said with regard to schools reopening for face-to-face lessons, with the available protocols and the national vaccination programme, there would not be many issues.

“Most adolescents have already been vaccinated and the younger age group will be vaccinated soon.

“I hope all parties will jointly contribute to all efforts related to preventing and controlling potential Covid-19 infections at schools,” she added.

Dr Malina said children deserve to be at school again after more than a year of online learning.

“Similar to economic sectors, which are important to the country, school activities are vital for children’s mind and social development,” she added.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Wang Heng Suan urged parents to allow their children to attend face-to-face classes even if some of them have not been vaccinated.

“I understand that some parents are worried as their young children have not been vaccinated and they have decided to not send their children to school.

“However, the Education Ministry has ensured a safe environment at schools and has come up with a strict SOP for everyone.

“Students have been learning online for almost two years and this will in one way or another affect children’s mental health as well as education,” he said.

Wang also urged students to take one step at a time when they head back to school.

Parents have been advised to make sure their children do not go to school if they have symptoms such as cough, fever and shortness of breath, among others.

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