In reopening schools, ex-minister Maszlee moots staggering classes according to grades

Former education minister Maszlee Malik believes that students must return to school, and suggested staggering lessons according to students. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former education minister Maszlee Malik believes that students must return to school, and suggested staggering lessons according to students. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Former education minister Maszlee Malik said that students must return to school, even if they go to class only once a week.

Speaking at a Sinar Harian Facebook Live interview this evening, the Simpang Renggam MP proposed a few ideas that schools can implement to ensure social distancing during lessons.

“Maybe we can stagger the lessons according to the students. For instance, every Monday we allow only Standards One and Two. Tuesdays will see those in Standards Three and Four while Wednesdays we will teach students in Standards Five and Six.

“Even if they go to class once a week, it is already good,” Maszlee replied to a question regarding lessons being taught during the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

He explained that the economics of education goes beyond mere schooling as many others such as canteen operators and bus drivers have been adversely affected by the MCO implemented by Putrajaya to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maszlee said that he had spoken with a school bus driver who has lost income over the past three months, ever since schools were shut down to protect the students from the dreaded coronavirus, as parents do not see the point of paying for his services.

At the same time, Maszlee urged local television stations apart from RTM to include at least a one-hour educational show per day to help students at home continue their lessons.

Currently, RTM airs a two-hour educational show per day.

Maszlee made a comparison with neighbouring Indonesia which airs an educational show for six hours a day.

“Maybe during the CMCO period the government can force every local television station such as TV3, Awani, Al Hijrah among others to air more educational programmes. At least for one hour a day.

“But since Parliament cannot convene, we cannot do that,” he said.

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