For students, mandatory temperature checks, spending recess in classrooms the new normal when schools reopen

Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (right) and Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a visit to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Engku Husain in Kajang June 3, 2020. — Bernama pic
Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (right) and Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a visit to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Engku Husain in Kajang June 3, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KAJANG, June 4 — Temperature screening before entering the school compound and eating in classroom during recess time are among new normal practices that students need to adapt when schools reopen.

Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the guidelines stipulated that teachers to carry out body temperature checks when the students entered school compound and if they showed any symptoms, then further action would be taken.

“We are also aware that some students walk or cycle to school and the temperature would be slightly above 37.5 degrees Celsius... so these students will be asked to rest first to ensure that their body temperature returns to normal before it is checked again.

“Each school will have an isolation room. If the student shows any symptoms they will be brought here and the school, besides contacting the parents, will also contact the nearest health centre for further action,” he said.

Mohd Radzi, who is also a senior minister, said this to Bernama after a visit to see the preparations for school reopening at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Engku Husain, Semenyih, here, recently.

Also present were Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, National Security Council (MKN) director-general Mohd Rabin Basir and Education director-general Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim.

The new normal practices are among the Ministry of Education’s school reopening management guidelines to be distributed to schools beginning today. It was also posted on the ministry's website.

The 34-page detailed guidelines were developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and MKN.

Meanwhile, Mohd Radzi said parents did not have to worry about social distancing during school recess as the children would only be allowed at the canteen area in stages and they would eat their meals in the classrooms.

“Students need to buy packed foods and they will be queuing with a one-meter gap between one person and another before returning to their classroom to eat.

 “Hence, the situation at the canteen will be in an orderly manner and the parents don't have to worry about the kids jostling to buy food as the recess time will be carried out in stages to ensure that not all students would gather at the canteen at any one time,” he said.

In order to maintain social distancing between students, the tables in the classroom must have a one-metre gap and the surplus students would be placed in the other class, he said.

He added the school labs also shared similar setting to ensure learning to be carried out in orderly and safely manner.

Commenting on the movement of students in the school area, he said the direction of the students would be marked with arrows to avoid crowding.

He said the guidelines also emphasised on teachers’ well-being, safety and health.

He said teachers did not have to worry about being placed in a cramped teachers’ room as the school must ensure that there was social distancing even in the teachers' room and there were teachers who would be placed in other suitable rooms including resource centre and so on.

The ministry has issued similar guidelines for students in dormitories where their beds would be spaced one metre apart and the dining hall would emphasise on social distancing among students, he said.

Once the school reopened, the ministry would see how the guidelines were being implemented and if there was room for improvement then it would be done to ensure that students attending the school follow the teaching and learning (PdP) in a safe environment.

“We sincerely hope the students will practice social distancing while they are at school and throughout their journey to and from school,” Mohd Radzi said. — Bernama


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