Retired school principal says too soon to reopen schools

Marcus Hugo

MIRI: A retired school principal is appalled by the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) decision to reopen schools on January 20.

Marcus Hugo, was also concerned that teachers do not have to be tested for Coivd-19 virus before resuming duty.

It is sensible to be cautious for the safety of students and school community as Malaysia is facing record number of infections in the community, he said in a statement yesterday.

“Let’s be cautious and review the situation at the end of the month instead of re-opening school on Jan 20 and not screening teachers.” He added all teachers and family members coming from Sabah, Labuan and Peninsula must undergo screening and even quarantine before they are allowed to go back to their respective schools in Sarawak.

“Even Sarawakians (teachers) from red zones must be tested before going to their stations. This is especially so if they are going to rural areas,” he said.

Marcus said while the school authority might be able to enforce strict SOP within the school compound, it could not do so when the students were outside the school compound or on their way to and fro.

However, he supported the decision to resume exam classes but is against resumption of non-exam classes.

A Bernama report on Tuesday quoted Senior Minister (Education) Radzi Jidin as saying that teachers who will begin their duties at schools when the school sessions resume on Jan 20 are not required to undergo Covid-19 screening but have to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOP).

Teachers with health problems could discuss with the school administration on allowing them to work from home through online classes.

The minister explained that the health system could not cope with screening all teachers for Covid-19 virus before they return to their schools.

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