GEORGE TOWN: The start of the 2023/24 school year coupled with an early morning downpour led to traffic congestion in various parts of Penang on Monday (March 20), especially on the island.
Traffic was reported to be at a crawl in the morning along many roads leading to schools, including in Ayer Itam and Bayan Baru.
At schools, parents were seen making a beeline for the main gate to drop off their children, some of whom were late because of the jam.
Penang Education director Abdul Rashid Abdul Samad said a total 19,862 pupils started Year One in the state.
"A total of 229,861 pupils and students from Year One to Form Six were registered to start the 2023/24 school term in 398 schools in Penang.
"This includes 128,480 in primary schools," he said during a visit to SMK (Perempuan) Al-mashoor.
At the school, all 560 students started the morning assembly with a series of dances to children's songs in the hall followed by a speech by principal Rosnah Othman.
The Education Ministry had decided to not hold academic classes in the first week of the new school session after conducting a review.
The new academic year will end on March 9 next year for Group A states and March 10 for Group B states.
Group A comprises Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, while Group B covers all other states and territories.