The National Parent-Teacher Associations Consultative Council (PIBGN) has urged the government to consider reopening schools for only classes that have major examinations, given the country's COVID-19 situation is still at worrying levels.

According to its president Mohamad Ali Hasan, while the group accepts the reasoning behind the Education Ministry's decision to reopen schools on Jan 20, several issues have to be scrutinized beforehand, such as the increase in coronavirus cases, and the flood situation in several states.

"We, as parents, are worried sick looking at the COVID-19 cases and the flood situation.

"The government should also consider the readiness of parents to send their kids back to school, lest the Education Ministry wants to deal with cases of parents not sending their children to school on their own accord," he was quoted telling Harian Metro.

With the COVID-19 vaccine yet to reach our shores, Mohamad Ali said priority should also be given to teachers to receive the vaccination, just like other frontliners, when it does arrive.

"I hope the Education Ministry will consider reopening schools only for students who are about to sit for major examinations, such as Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), after discussions with the Health Ministry, and the National Security Council (NSC)," he said.

Students in other standards and forms, especially those with low immune systems, should be given leeway to continue their studies online from home, he added.

Thus, Mohamad Ali suggested postponing the reopening of schools until March 31, in line with the extension of the nationwide Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Last August, Education Minister Mohd Radzi Jidin announced that the first session of the schooling year will open on Jan 20, which is later than the usual, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the earlier announcement, many parents have become jittery of late, as the coronavirus infection numbers continue to be recorded in the four digits daily.

Source: Harian Metro
Photo source: Free Malaysia Today