Education Ministry announces three school session models to meet social distancing guidelines

Social distancing is observed in the classroom at SMK Anderson in Ipoh June 24, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Social distancing is observed in the classroom at SMK Anderson in Ipoh June 24, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said all schools will have to choose one of three models in order to adhere to the social distancing standard operating procedure (SOP) before they are allowed to run at full capacity starting July 15.

Schools that have ample space are expected to choose either the first or second model — one or two school sessions a day — while those with limited space must adopt the rotation model.

Mohd Radzi explained that the rotation model is for schools — likely located in high population density areas — that do not have enough space to accommodate all students even if they were to implement the two-session model.

“For secondary schools, this would mean that students in Form 5 and 6 must attend school every day; whereas attendance by Form 1 to 4 students will be on a rotational basis, according to the specific class or stream.

“The school must determine the appropriate form of rotation based on the needs of the students. For example, if the school has enough space, Form 4 students will attend every day. Priority is given to those preparing for next year’s SPM exams.

“What about the rotation model for primary schools? Year 1 to 6 pupils can take turns by class or level. In this case, it is the school that determines the appropriate form of rotation,” he said during a special press conference today.

Mohd Radzi added that the Ministry of Education (MOE) has determined that schools following the rotation model will adopt a hybrid approach to learning.

He said that students, parents and guardians will be notified which schools will be undertaking the model next week.

“For the rotation model, the students’ learning method will be hybrid, namely, face-to-face on school days and Home-Based Learning for days they are not scheduled to be in school.

“The list of schools following this predefined model will be released by the MOE at least one week before school reopens,” he said.

As for boarding schools, Mohd Radzi said it will take about 28 to 42 days from June 24 for the implementation to be done as they are facing difficulties due to the use of bunk beds for students.

He said that the MOE is working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ensure that boarding schools are safe and adhere to all the SOP.

“With the MOH’s recommendations in mind, generally speaking, for dormitories using bunk beds, all students are expected to return to their hostels within 28 to 42 days from June 24, 2020.

“This will also depend on the number of students and will be determined by the schools’ administrators,” he said.

Form 5 and 6 students due to sit for their SPM and STPM examinations returned to their respective schools on June 24.

Secondary schools will start to reopen in full on July 15, followed by primary schools on July 22.

Related Articles