School reopening: Education Ministry to supply Covid-19 self-test kits to boarding and day schools, says minister

Senior Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said self-test kits using the saliva would be supplied to all schools involved and tests would be conducted before the students started the school session. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Senior Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said self-test kits using the saliva would be supplied to all schools involved and tests would be conducted before the students started the school session. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — The Ministry of Education (MOE) will supply Covid-19 self-test kits to boarding schools and day schools under the ministry, as part of preparations for the operation of schools in stages according to the states’ phases in the National Recovery Plan (PPN), starting October 3.

Senior Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said self-test kits using the saliva would be supplied to all schools involved and tests would be conducted before the students started the school session.

“Let’s say, boarding school students from Terengganu will start schooling in Kuala Lumpur, we will gather them at a hostel in Terengganu and run a test before they board the bus to hostel,” he said when winding-up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal address for his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Earlier, Radzi announced that the Covid-19 screening test using a self-test kit will be conducted on students who will return to both daily and full boarding schools.

For full boarding school students, screening tests will be conducted three times, namely, during registration, the sixth day and the 14th day.

For daily boarding school students, a screening test will be implemented during registration.

In addition, a self-test kit will be provided for the use of the day schools to conduct screening if students show symptoms while at school.

Meanwhile, responding to allegations about the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of schools in Klang having to pay RM1,600 to the district education office (PPD) for the student vaccination programme, Radzi said the MOE had ordered that the directive be revoked.

He said that it was a misunderstanding and it was not the MOE’s policy for the PTA to make any payment for the vaccination programme for students.

Radzi also said the progress of vaccination of educational institutions’ staff as of September 20, namely, 90.5 per cent of teachers, 85.8 per cent of members of the implementing group (AKP), and 79.2 per cent of support service staff have been fully vaccinated.

“Currently, 7.2 per cent of teachers, 11.4 per cent of AKP and 15.1 per cent of support service staff are waiting for the second dose injection,” he said. 

On the action against more than 2,000 teachers who refused to be vaccinated, he said it would be presented to the National Security Council (MKN) after discussions with the Public Service Department (PSD).

“On the action against these teachers, we have discussed it with the PSD. Yesterday, the PSD issued a statement that they are detailing and will bring to the MKN on the approach to be taken. We are examining one by one, what approach is best related to their duties. It depends on what is set by the PSD,” he said.

Commenting on the extension of the school calendar until February 2022, Radzi said it was to enable schools to plan and implement rehabilitation, strengthening and enrichment activities intensively, to increase the readiness of students to follow the next school year.

He added that to ensure the smooth operation of schools, the MOE has also prepared the Guidelines for School Management and Operation 3.0 as a reference to the state education departments, PPD, administrators and teachers.

“These guidelines also emphasise the aspect of good ventilation in the classrooms and make it compulsory for all students to wear face masks,” he said. — Bernama

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