Malaysian schools will reopen on 1 September 2021 with 253,366 teachers and school staff have been vaccinated. Parents are still skeptical about sending their children to school.
Update: Schools will reopen in stages starting 3 October 2021. Vaccination for students will begin on 15 September 2021.
The Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE) has announced that schools will be reopening on 1 September 2021 in stages. MoE is working closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH), the National Security Council (MKN) and the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) for the safety of students and school administrators.
The media statement mentioned that home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) would continue as usual until 31 August 2021. All schools will be affected by this decision, including private and international schools that are registered with MoE.
MoE reported that 253,366 teachers and 10,876 school staff had received at least one vaccine dosage as of 16 July 2021. The ministry will be working closely with CITF to ensure the number of teachers and staff receiving vaccinations increases.
In neighbouring Singapore, schools have reopened for Primary 4 to 6, Secondary 3 to 5, junior colleges and Millennia Institute on 28 June 2021 with stringent safety measures set in place. Students in the remaining education levels were expected to continue attending home-based classes, with students in Primary 1 to 3 to join in-person classes on 6 July 2021. It is also reported that 92% of students have received at least one dosage of vaccine. Singapore currently has no plans to close schools as there are no clusters and transmission of the virus in schools.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health has deemed children between the ages 12 - 15 suitable to receive the Pfizer vaccine while trials are still being conducted for those below the age of 12. Malaysia’s CITF has announced on 22 July that the government will not be administering Covid-19 vaccine to children aged 17 and below and will also “finalise clinical guidelines on the administration of Pfizer vaccine” for at-risk children.
Prior to Movement Control Order 3.0 (MCO 3.0), Malaysian schools have adhered to a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) which includes wearing face masks and face shields at all times, daily temperature checks, physical distancing, and more. Students and teachers were advised to not attend school if they show flu-like symptoms. In June, the Education Minister, Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin, mentioned that the ministry is looking into improving SOPs in schools but has yet to elaborate on the matter.
Malaysia and Singapore adhere to similar SOPs. In Singapore’s SOP guide since schools reopening, they are ensuring there are fewer contact between students by reducing activities that require students and teachers to take off their masks, overcrowding and making sure that students and teachers are not attending schools should they be showing flu-like symptoms or have been within the vicinity of those showing flu-like symptoms.
Malaysia’s new Covid-19 cases tallied at 13,034 as of 22 July 2021, whereas Singapore saw 162 new cases. A total of 15.5 million people have been vaccinated in Malaysia, and Singapore has administered over 6.9 million doses.
The Star has reported parents’ apprehension to send their children to school, mainly due to safety and health concerns as of late, but also expressed the difficulty of PdPR. School Advisor has posted a poll in the Malaysian Private and International School Information for Parents Facebook group, and a majority of parents are not ready to send their children to school this coming September.
Despite the apprehension shown by parents, MoE reassured parents and educators that updates on the matter will be given at least a week before schools reopen.
Are you ready to send your children to school or would you prefer to wait until the number of cases decreases? Share your thoughts with us on schools’ staggered reopening in September.
Banner photo by The Malaysian Reserve.
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