KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — The third term of 2021/2022 school session for states in Group A, namely Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu began today with school students looking enthusiastic and cheerful while adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19 prevention set by the government.

The third term session was initially scheduled to commence on Jan 2 for Group A schools and Jan 3 for Group B, which was postponed for a week due to the floods which hit several states in the country.

Today, all Group A schools are operational except for several schools in Johor which were used as temporary evacuation centres (PPS) and were affected by the floods.

In Terengganu, a total of 240,000 students started school today, comprising 140,000 students in 352 primary schools and 100,000 students in 153 secondary schools, according to Terengganu Education director Salim Ab Ghani.

“All schools are open today and some students attend classes without rotation, while others do. There are some who are still following home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) sessions,” he said when contacted today.

A Bernama check at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Wakaf Mempelam in Kuala Terengganu found students were eager to attend school and arrived as early as 7am while in compliance with SOPs such as wearing face masks, checking body temperature and using disinfectant liquid.

There are also a handful of students who were not ready to start schooling and cried when they arrived at the school grounds that they had to be persuaded by parents and teachers.

In Kedah, state Education director Rozaini Ahmad said that a total of 281,721 students had started school sessions today, comprising 174,995 students in 548 primary schools and 106,726 students in 204 secondary schools.

A check by Bernama at several schools in Alor Setar found that students were excited and enthusiastic to start school sessions which were previously disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the parents, Ismaullah Ahmad, 40, said his son, Muhammad Qhalish, a Year Three student at SK Mergong could not wait to start the school session this time after a long preparation to return to school by buying school equipment such as clothes, books and stationery.

“This morning, he woke up early because he said he couldn’t wait to go to school to meet his teachers and friends. He is happy to be able to study like normal again, during the previous PdPR, he often lost focus while studying online,” he said.

In Kelantan, Senior Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin said a total of 254,678 students started school today, involving 167,478 primary school pupils and 87,200 secondary school students.

He also spent time reviewing the operation of several schools around Kota Bharu such as Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sultan Ismail, SK Zainab 1 and SK Zainab 2 in conjunction with the operation of schools in Kelantan for the third term of 2021/2022 school session.

In Johor, a Bernama check at SK Bukit Mutiara in Johor Bahru and two schools in Segamat, namely Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Kampung Tengah and SK Kampung Jawa which were previously used as PPS, found all students were eager to attend school by complying with the SOPs.

Sharuddin Jaafar, 53, met by Bernama at SK Kampung Jawa, said his son’s school books, who is a Year Three student, were sent to PPS Dewan Loga, Segamat as part of the preparation for floods that hit his house in Jalan Tasik.

“Every year, this area is flooded and we have made early preparations by moving children’s books to PPS before the floods hit our home,” he said.

Yesterday, Johor Education, Information, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Mazlan Bujang said a total of 23 schools in the state were converted into PPS, namely eight each in Segamat and Tangkak districts, Muar (five) and Batu Pahat (two), while eight schools which were affected by floods, namely four schools in Tangkak, Segamat (three) and Muar (one) were still close. — Bernama