Will schools stay open? Pakatan MPs call on Education Ministry to spell out MCO regulations

A security guard at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pasir Hor closes the school gate in Kota Bharu April 18, 2021. — Bernama pic
A security guard at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pasir Hor closes the school gate in Kota Bharu April 18, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — Despite the announcement of the movement control order (MCO) in six districts in Selangor yesterday, the Education Ministry has yet to come up with a decision on whether schools will continue to operate.

A joint statement today issued by Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs, including the former education minister Maszlee Malik, PKR MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, DAP’s former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching, and Amanah MP Hasan Baharom, has questioned the Ministry of Education (MoE) after silence on the matter.

“Several follow-up announcements have been made by the authorities to inform about the SOPs that will be enforced in the MCO area.

“However, until today, the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE) has not informed about the position of schools in the areas subject to PKP from May 6, 2021.

“Will the schools under PKP areas be closed immediately or will they continue until the Hari Raya holiday begins?” they said in a statement.

The Opposition MPs urged Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin to speed up announcement of the regulations that will be imposed on schools in MCO areas, with midterm examinations looming.

“The announcement needs to be made immediately by the MoE as there are schools that are conducting the mid-year examinations,” it added.

For boarding schools, PH MPs also questioned the movement of students who will return home from their respective dormitories.

“Will parents who need to take their children from hostels be given clearance across districts and states in conjunction with the implementation of PKP this time, with PKP enforced during the festive season?” they asked.

The statement suggested that only schools issue a letter of notification for parents to pick up their children in hostels as evidence when crossing districts and states later.

Yesterday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the MCO will be imposed in six districts within Selangor following several days of high Covid-19 infections in the state.

He said the districts affected were Hulu Langat, Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang.

The MCO will be from May 6 until 17 and will be the third in the state.

He said the three remaining districts of Kuala Selangor, Sabak Bernam and Hulu Selangor will stay under the conditional MCO.

Previously, the MoE announced that school sessions will be held online for two weeks after the Hari Raya holidays through the home-based teaching and learning method (PdPR).

This will be implemented from May 16 to 27 for group A schools (in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) and May 17 to 28 for group B schools (in Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya).

Radzi said the decision was made to avoid the risk of Covid-19 infections in schools after the school holidays to celebrate Aidilfitri scheduled from May 7 to 15 for group A schools and May 8 to 16 for group B schools.

He said after the PdPR period, students will continue their term holidays from May 28 to June 12 for group A schools and May 29 to June 13 for group B schools.

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