KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visited Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Datok Lokman in Jalan Kampung Pandan here today to check out the reopening of schools after a three-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a posting on his Facebook, the prime minister said he had his body temperature taken at the entrance of the school before being accompanied by school principal Latifah Mohd Yusof through a specially-marked route in the compound to enter the main hall for a briefing session.
“At the briefing, I was told that the school session there involved only 255 Form Five students who are divided into 14 classes, from nine classes before the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“I then observed the teaching and learning activities in class. From my observation, all the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government, like on social distancing and a class not having more than 20 people, were adhered to.
“After three months of being away from school, students surely have mixed feelings about returning to school and this was told to me by some of them just now,” he added.
Muhyiddin said after schools were closed following the imposition of the MCO on March 18, the government on June 10 decided to reopen schools in stages, beginning today with classes sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) examinations.
Muhyiddin said some students at SMK Datok Lokman admitted that they were worried about their own safety as the COVID-19 pandemic had not ended yet.
However, he said they were still excited at the opportunity to meet up with their teachers and friends after having attended only online lessons for so long.
The prime minister expressed his appreciation to teachers, district and state education offices, and Parent-Teacher Associations (PIBGs) for making thorough preparations to ensure that the guidelines and SOP were in place before schools could reopen.
He said this would give greater confidence to parents that the safety of their children would be given priority throughout their stay in school.
“At SMK Datok Lokman, I could see the seriousness of the school management in observing the SOP, from the moment the students arrive at school until they leave.
“I witnessed for myself the taking of body temperature at the school entrance, before it is written on a sticker and placed on the sleeves of students. Hand cleaning stations were placed outside the classrooms to ensure that students frequently wash their hands,” he added.
Muhyiddin said he was told that recess was broken into three sessions, with food ordered from the canteen through the form teacher or brought from outside only allowed to be eaten in the class.
“Insya-Allah, with close preparations and the proper implementation of and adherence to the SOP by all parties, I am confident the risk of infection among students can be avoided.
“I also advised them to always be disciplined to maintain personal hygiene, frequently wash hands, practise social distancing, and avoid crowded and narrow places.
“I pray for the protection of Allah to be upon our children who have returned to school and for the smooth conduct of their adapting to the new normal of schooling,” he said.
Muhyiddin also shared seven photographs of the visit, which also involved Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.