By John Isaac
THE State Government and SDMC must heed the worries and concerns of Sarawakian parents and local leaders on the reopening of schools amid surging numbers of positive Covid-19 cases.
Following the SOPs for areas under the MCO, schools in Sibu shall not be physically opened for the next two weeks until Jan 29, except for those in examination classes.
“Even so, it is most unlikely that the virus would be contained within these two weeks. Given the scenario, the least the State Government has to do for the people now is to intervene on their behalf and appeal to the Federal Ministry of Education to defer the physical reopening of schools in the State and opt for virtual learning as much as possible,” said Bukit Assek state assemblywoman, Irene Chang.
Since last year before the school year closed in November, it has been proven that the SOPs as provided by the Ministry of Education were perfect on paper but quite impossible to comply with.
This was because it was always challenging for students, especially restless primary school students to keep the mask on for the whole day.
Irene said the State government also has to take note that the health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had previously stated that a total 1,257 students have been detected with Covid 19 from Sept 20 – Oct 21.
“Out of that, 46.7% were from primary schools while 53.3 % were from secondary schools,” she said.
For the first time since the pandemic hit our shores last year, we have so many red zones and clusters in the state.
And from the list of infected premises which has been released by SDMC every day, it is undeniable that the virus is widespread and out of control.
The most worrying is the fact that from the press statements released by SDMC every day, there were some cases where the index case or sources of some of the local transmission were still untraceable.
“The State Government therefore owes a duty to keep her students and people safe and to write to the Federal Government to either defer the physical reopening of all the schools in the red zones and not only the examination classes, until the virus is contained within the state,” stressed the assemblywoman.