Ting: Closure of schools will protect students from Covid-19 threat

Datuk Sebastian Ting

MIRI: The decision by the Education Ministry to close schools nationwide until the last day of the school year will ensure that students are protected from the threat of Covid-19, said Datuk Sebastian Ting.

In welcoming the decision, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister said the closure of schools would definitely assuage the concern of parents in regard to the safety of their children.

“The number of Covid-19 cases continues to spike and I understand that many parents are worried about their children having to go to school. It (decision to close schools) is good and the students can continue their learning through online platforms,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Ting was asked for comment on the earlier announcement by Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, that all schools and vocational colleges under the ministry will be closed starting today (Nov 9) until Dec 17 – traditionally the last day of the school year. The closure involves five million students and 500,000 teachers.

“Throughout this period, school administrators have to ensure that home-based learning continues, and that teachers remain at their stations,” Mohd Radzi told a press conference in Putrajaya.

Dr Pauline Ho

Meanwhile, Riam Road Secondary School (RRSS) chief executive officer Dr Pauline Ho commented that the closure meant that schools had no choice but to revert back to online lessons.

“I wasn’t expecting the announcement (for schools to close), but I feel that it is necessary in view of the spike in Covid-19 cases since last month,” she said.

She recalled that when schools were first closed in March during the implementation of the Movement Control Order, teachers had faced a number of challenges in carrying out online classes.

“Online attendance wasn’t always ideal and some students did not have the privilege of owning a computer at home. So alternative ways had to be found to ensure their education was not disrupted.” Ho said over the past few months, RRSS teachers had managed to cover the entire syllabus and had been focusing on helping the students revise for their examinations.

“The SPM examination has been amended to February and we are now waiting for an update from the United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong) on the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) which was scheduled for Dec 4 – whether it will proceed or be postponed to another date,” she added.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/11/09/ting-closure-of-schools-will-protect-students-from-covid-19-threat/