KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — In light of the country’s current Covid-19 situation, schools and vocational colleges will close starting November 9 to the last day of the 2020 school calendar year on December 17 (Category A) and December 18 (Category B), Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said today. 

He said this includes schools in Kelantan, Pahang, Perlis and Sarawak, since schools in states that will observe the conditional movement control order (CMCO) comprises 74 per cent of the total number of schools under the education ministry. 

“This step was taken as an effort to break the Covid-19 infection chain,” he told a press conference that was broadcasted live. 

While the schools are closed, students will continue their lessons at home with suitable methods determined by the teacher. 

“Throughout this duration, lessons will be conducted through home-based learning following teachers’ and students’ suitability. 

“Throughout this duration also, teachers are to remain at their respective work stations,” he said. 

As for boarding school students, Radzi said parents are to bring their children home. 

“However, students can continue to stay at their respective boarding schools until their parents pick them up. 

“Through this duration, students will be under the care of the boarding school warden and their needs including essentials and food will be taken care of by the boarding school,” he said. 

Both primary and secondary schools nationwide had resumed on July 15 in phases, as the country had entered into recovery MCO. 

For the new schooling calendar 2021, Radzi announced that the new semester will start on January 20. 

“All primary schoolchildren will return to school (physically) on this date. 

 “As for secondary students — Form One, Four, Five and Six, and all vocational schools, will also start school on the same date. 

“However, for students in Form Two and Three, they will start school but via online or home-based learning. They will return to school (physically) on March 8,” said Radzi. 

He added that all these guidelines are to be followed across the board, including private schools and institutions that are registered under the education ministry. 

“As for schools that are not registered with the education ministry, they are encouraged to follow these guidelines,” he said. 

In answer to queries about school enrolment for boarding schools, religious schools, technic, vocational and Royal Military College, for Form One to Four, Radzi said that they would be postponed to a date to be announced later. 

For students who have enrolled under the matriculation college or teaching institutions, classes will be conducted fully online, said Radzi.

“Students are encouraged to do their own revision until December 31. 

“The students under the education ministry’s matriculation programme will return to campus on January 4, 2021. 

“For students enrolled with teaching institutions, classes and assessment will follow the Teachers Education Programme Calendar for year 2020/2021 and 2021/2011. Students will return to campus on January 17,” he said. 

The above guidelines are set following the recent extension of the conditional MCO from November 9 to December 6.