Candidates of major exams allowed to attend school – PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Candidates of major examinations including the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) for the 2020 and 2021 sessions in states subject to the Movement Control Order (MCO) are allowed to attend schools under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs), says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In his special address on the implementation of MCO which was broadcast live on television this afternoon, he said the Ministry of Education would soon release the detailed SOPs.

“Although there are strict movement restrictions, especially in states imposed with the MCO, exemption is given to students and candidates for major examinations including SPM for the 2020 and 2021 sessions. They are allowed to attend schools with strict SOPs,” he said.

Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin previously announced that the first term of the 2021 schooling session nationwide would begin on Jan 20, while the SPM, Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) examinations would begin on Feb 22, and the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination on March 8.

Meanwhile, for religious activities, the prime minister said in states imposed with the MCO, only committee members of mosques or houses of worship were allowed to attend the prayer sessions with a maximum of five people.

For states under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), religious activities are still allowed with the maximum number of attendees as set in the SOP, he said.

“State religious authorities are advised to provide the appropriate number of attendees allowed,” he said.

On leisure activities outside the house, Muhyiddin said, people were allowed to leave the house to exercise with household members only.

“Make sure you keep a distance of at least two metres from others at all times. If you wish to jog, do not do so in groups of more than two, and if cycling, do not do it in groups at all,” he said.

The prime minister said such activities were allowed as he was aware that being in isolation for a long period of time could put pressure on mental health.

He said the next two weeks were very important for Malaysians and the country in general.

“All these freedoms that we are sacrificing – not being able to meet friends, being in isolation at home and not holding social activities outside – will be able to save our lives,” he said.

The prime minister said as the COVID-19 virus was now prevalent in the community, people should not ignore the easy to practice health measures, such as washing hands often with soap, wearing face masks properly, keeping physical distance and avoiding contact.

He also called on community leaders to take care of and protect their communities to prevent the disease from spreading among them.

“You are all frontliners in your community in the fight against the virus. Collaborate with district health offices, community health clinics and even district councils to educate your community members so they know how to best prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Muhyiddin said as proof of the government’s commitment to empowering the community, a high-level committee chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Minister of Special Functions was formed for the purpose.

“Just assume that the virus is already inside us, so that we will remain vigilant and not be complacent in complying with the prescribed SOPs.

“We laugh outside with our friends and family, but we often forget about our health workers who are working hard, sacrificing their time being away from family, and staying in isolation to control the spread of COVID-19 infection,” he said.

In the address, the prime minister also announced that phase three of the clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine would begin on Jan 21, 2021, in nine public hospitals around the country.

— BERNAMA

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