PETALING JAYA: Non-exam year students who returned home for the Chinese New Year holidays will not be allowed back to their boarding schools and will be continuing with home-based learning, says Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.
He said this was in order to keep the learning environment safe for students who will be sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations in February and March.
He also said that the standard operating procedure in boarding schools was quite tight but enforcement will be improved.
At the same time, he said the ministry has increased its monitoring in schools to ensure SOP compliance and reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading in schools.
“We know many parents took their children on vacation, balik kampung and other activities this week,” Radzi said.
Thus, parents should keep their children at home if they show Covid-19 symptoms instead of sending them to school when it reopens next week, he said.
“This is important for us to ensure that the school environment is safe and we can reduce the risk of infection in schools,” he added.
Radzi also said that most of the Covid-19 clusters involving institutions under the Education Ministry were in boarding schools.
He said 84 out of the 96 education clusters that happened in institutions under his ministry were from boarding schools.
“It is clear that most of the clusters (87.5%) involving institutions under the ministry are clusters that occur in boarding schools,” he said on his Facebook page yesterday.
In daily boarding schools, he said there were 76 clusters with 4,272 cases while there were only eight clusters in full boarding schools with 495 cases.
He added that the 84 clusters only make up 4.38% of the 1,918 boarding schools under the ministry.
Though the number of clusters is high, the number of cases is low (4%) compared with the total number of cases recorded nationwide – 118,238 cases from Jan 1 to Feb 1.
Radzi said there were two clusters with 68 cases recorded in secondary schools and 10 clusters with 303 cases in primary schools.
He added that this was 0.14% of the 303 clusters detected nationwide.
“All of this is based on data from the Health Ministry,” he said.