By Emma Victoria
THE government needs to provide more assistance to private educational operators like nurseries, kindergartens as well as daycare and tuition centres, which have been badly hit by the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Michael Kong Feng Nian, Special Assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said other than the loan deferments for a period of six months, there is no immediate assistance from the state and federal governments that could benefit the industry players directly.
“The economic stimulus package announced by the Prime Minister last week, has failed to provide sufficient assistance to the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) in the country,” he said in a statement.
“These centres are currently being pressured to give discounts or waive fees for the MCO period. Yet, they are required to pay for rental and salaries of their staff.
“To make matter worse, there is no indication whether this MCO will end on April or whether it will be further extended,” he added.
It is expected that most parents would not send their children back to these immediately upon expiry of the MCO. Hence, the education providers would be affected badly and some had even considered shutting down if the situation persists.
“We understand that some other learning institutions are resorting to e-learning, but early childcare and learning required personal attention. Hence, e-learning is quite impossible or less efficient.
“Once these centres start to close down, many people would be losing their jobs. The government must act now to prevent this from happening,” he stressed.