Stop all outdoor, extracurricular school activities in light of rising Covid-19 cases, association tells Education Ministry

Photo shows one of the classrooms in SMK Chung Hua Miri, where the seating layout has been rearranged to be in compliance with the MoH SOPs.

KUCHING: The Association of the Boards of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools in Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions is appealing to the Ministry of Education to temporary halt all outdoor and extracurricular activities in schools, in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Although the Covid-19 situation in the state seems to be under control, the association’s president Jonathan Chai remarked that the state should not be complacent towards the risks posed by the virus.

“We should never take things for granted and everyone must play their part by strictly observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) put in place and we should not have a lackadaisical attitude in dealing with such a deadly virus,” Chai told The Borneo Post.

When asked whether schools should be closed due to the latest Covid-19 outbreak in the country, Chai said they will adhere to whatever decisions made by the Ministries of Education and Health.

He believed that health experts would consider the potential risks exposed to students if the outbreak of the pandemic could not contain, while stressing the association had always placed students’ safety as top priority.

“If the Ministry of Education decides to allow the classes to continue, then we would do our utmost to take all precautionary measures to minimize the risk of infection of Covid-19 to the students.”

He said it had been the aim of the association to maintain zero Covid-19 infections within schools and to allow parents to be confident in sending their children to school.

“But, of course, parents have the right to decide whether or not to allow their children to attend normal classes in schools.”

However, in the event that schools are instructed to close as a result of the surge in positive Covid-19 cases, Chai said schools would have no choice but to continue with their online teaching method that was implemented in the initial Movement Control Order period.

While teachers and students now are better equipped and more experienced in coping with online learning, Chai lamented that internet connectivity and speed were far less ideal in rural and coastal areas.

“I really hope that we don’t have to come to that stage as the rural students would be left further behind if such modes of teaching are adopted,” said Chai.

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