Classroom dilemma – to mask or not to mask

PETALING JAYA: Schools are at a crossroads over face masks – they feel children will be more comfortable without masks in a learning environment but also fear that any virus could spread quickly if masks are not worn.

Stakeholders say schools have sufficient guidelines to keep students healthy and safe without having to wear face masks, but it needs to be encouraged.

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SMK Cochrane and SMK (P) Bandaraya’s Parent-Teacher Association chairman Faizal Mohammad Arshad said it would be easier for students to concentrate when they feel comfortable in class.

“I believe this will bring on a better environment for children to study. They will be more comfortable,” he said yesterday.

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He added that teachers knew of existing school hygiene guidelines and had to ensure these were followed at all times.

He was responding to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s announcement yesterday that the use of face masks is no longer mandatory indoors.

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Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said parents had to be more responsible following the announcement.

“They need to ensure their children are Covid-19-free before attending school,” she said.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin encouraged students and teachers to continue wearing face masks.

“We can’t be completely sure of the health condition of those around us.

“To be safe, let’s continue to mask up,” he said.

National Union of Teaching Profession of Malaysia (NUTP) secretary-general Wang Heng Suan also encouraged students and teachers to continue wearing face masks as a precautionary measure.

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