KUALA LUMPUR,  Feb 5 ― Students from non-examination classes who went home for the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday are not allowed to return to their hostel, but to continue their lessons through home-based teaching and learning (PdPR).

Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Jidin said this was to protect students who would be sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination this year from the Covid-19 infection.

“We will continue to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP) in boarding schools, in particular, can be improved. The Education Ministry (MoE) has also stepped up monitoring in schools to ensure all SOPs can be complied with and can reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection,” he said in a video which was uploaded on his Facebook page.

On the increase in Covid-19 cases in the education sector, with a cumulative 118,238 cases recorded from January 1 to February 1 this year, he said of the total, 8,451 cases (7.15 per cent) were related to education clusters, while the remaining 109,787 (92.85 per cent) involved other clusters.

“In total, there are 303 clusters nationwide (from January 1 to February 1) and from these clusters, 100 clusters or 33 per cent involve educational institutions under MoE, while 86 clusters or 28.38 per cent involve institutions not under the MoE.

“The 100 clusters at institutions under the MoE involved a total of 5,494 cases, and out of these 100 clusters, 96 clusters involved institutions under the MoE, while four clusters are private institutions registered under the MoE,” he said.

According to him, out of 96 clusters involving institutions under the MoE, a total of 84 clusters involved boarding institutions, comprising 76 clusters from hostels and eight clusters from fully-residential institutions.

“If we take into account the total boarding institutions under the MoE, which is 1,918 institutions, these 84 clusters are equivalent to 4.38 per cent of the total boarding institutions under the MoE,” he added.

As for non-boarding institutions, he said, 12 clusters were recorded, involving two clusters of secondary schools and 10 clusters from primary schools.

“If we look at these 12 clusters and compare with the total 8,356 non-boarding institutions under the MoE, the total 12 clusters is equivalent to 0.14 per cent of the total,” he added. ― Bernama