WHEN I heard that preschools and kindergartens would be allowed to reopen on July 1, I was apprehensive of the move although I was not against it.
I also did not know how my four-year-old son would cope with the new norms at his kindergarten. But he was very excited to go back, as he was bored of staying at home and was also missing his friends.
Staying at home would mean not meeting anyone other than family members. This is not a good thing for children who are developing their social skills, and especially for my son who needed more time to adapt to strangers when he started kindergarten.
To my surprise, the first day back turned out to be just fine. I was expecting him to have trouble familiarising himself with the new surroundings and people since he had not seen them for more than three months.
He was fine with wearing a mask to school. He was also cooperative when his teacher checked his temperature and he sanitised his hands regularly. He only started to do all these when he went back to school. He didn’t go out during the MCO period and I also did not teach him explicitly about all these hygienic measures.
At the kindergarten, he also has to sit apart from the other children and avoid sharing personal belongings with his friends. He has been doing very well so far and is enjoying his school time more than ever.
I think all the efforts by the government to educate the community, especially children, about Covid-19 have been a success. For example, using Papa Zola and Pipi to explain Covid-19 in simpler terms is really helpful.
The community messages about the coronavirus and the animated cartoons, which are being repeatedly shown on television, have somehow raised my son’s awareness of Covid-19.
The kindergarten has taken all the necessary measures to ensure that children can come back to school safely. Currently, only a small number of parents have agreed to send their children back, but this is okay as the teachers and their little charges would have more time to become familiar with the SOP outlined by the Health Ministry and Education Ministry.
The first week of school was dedicated to introducing the children to the new norms. They may be young, but they can understand what they are supposed to do if they are taught in the right way.
I hope everything will be fine and we can live with these new norms to win the fight against Covid-19.
NURSYUHADA ZAKARIA , UiTM Pasir Gudang Johor
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