State reasons for reopening Sarawak schools, SDMC & MOE told

Dr Kelvin Yii

By Chew Lip Song

BANDAR Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii wants the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the Ministry of Education to spell out why 1,045 schools in the state will hold physical learning starting Monday.

He said the public, especially parents had the right to know the parameters used in the risk assessment to re-open schools, including those in Covid-19 red zones.

“This includes the data and different considerations used to determine if it is safe to re-open a school, the reason for switching from “Zoning-system” to another assessment, and of course the additional preparations and safety measures that will be put in place in all those schools to make sure SOP is properly followed by all,” he said in a statement today.

Being transparent would allay concerns parents may have of the safety of their children, including the teachers, Dr Yii added.

This, he said would build confidence and acceptance among parents, who could then make informed choices on whether to send their children to school for face-to-face lessons.

“Even if there is a reasonable justification from backtracking from the initial decision by the State that schools in Sarawak Covid-19 red Zones would remain closed until March 14, the government should come out and clarify what exactly was that reasoning for them to arrive at the decision to declare those schools safe for opening on an earlier date,” added Dr Yii.

He also expressed concern that one year, the Ministry of Education doesn’t seem to have a comprehensive plan on how to address this issue and seem to be reactive in their policies which is shown by the constant “flip-flopping” and the last minute decisions, leaving many parents concerned and confused.

It was previously announced that schools in Sarawak’s Covid-19 red zones would be closed until March 14.

The SDMC yesterday announced that 231 primary schools would reopen this Monday, on top of the 814 that had started physical classes on March 1. This brings to 1,045 the number of schools that would have started physical classes on March 8.

“The decision was made after a risk assessment to ensure that the reopening complies with the Guildelines on Management and Operation of Schools in the New Normal 2.0 issued by the Education Ministry,” the SDMC said in a statement yesterday.

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