Various matters need to be fine-tuned before schools can reopen – PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Various matters will be considered, including the readiness of teachers to conduct health checks on students, before schools can reopen, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The prime minister said the government also needed to know whether the Education Ministry was ready to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) set to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Maybe we have to ascertain with the Education Ministry, are they able to comply with the new SOP in schools…have to check, have to wash hands, have to test (temperature), and are the instruments all on standby?”

“As far as I know, a classroom normally has some 40 people, we can’t allow 40 to seat close together. Now, only half (that number), meaning have to break into two classes. If 20 per class, we don’t know what the distancing is like,” he said in a video conferencing with Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today.

In the 40-minute video conferencing session, which was uploaded on Muhyiddin’s Facebook, the prime minister said if the number of students was reduced to 15 per class, it would require the use of many classrooms and holding of morning and afternoon school sessions.

These were among matters that needed to be studied and fine-tuned before schools could reopen, he said, adding that so far no dates had been set for schools to resume.

Schools nationwide have been closed since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented on March 18 to break the chain of COVID-19 infection.

Senior Minister (Education Cluster) Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin had earlier said that schools would not be reopened at short notice as an announcement would be made at least two weeks in advance.

“Now it is indefinite; there is no date yet being fixed so it’s ok. I think at one point it is guided by the Health Ministry views. Things are ok, everyone will be able to manage, the teachers and kids in schools can follow what the instructions…this is what the parents are interested to know,” Muhyiddin said.

Muhyiddin said many parents had already started asking when schools would be reopened.

“I explained to them based on what we decided earlier, that only those sitting for SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) and… even for SPM we haven’t set the date,” he said.

— BERNAMA

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