PETALING JAYA: The National Parent-Teacher Association (PIBGN) has called on parents to remain calm over the Covid-19 situation, saying calls to close schools or to extend the one-week holiday which begins today were premature.
It said parents should wait for direction from the health ministry.
“We shouldn’t panic. What is important now is taking preventive measures like checking temperatures, good hygiene practices and if the children are not feeling well, then don’t send them to school,” PIBGN chairman Mohamad Ali Hassan told FMT.
The closure of schools in other countries, and news that neighbouring Singapore is mulling school closures has sparked a debate on social media on whether Malaysia should take a similar approach.
Today is the last day of school in most states ahead of a week-long holiday.
Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) said it was more important for the public to take precautions and abide by good hygiene practices.
PAGE secretary Tunku Munawirah Putra said extending school holidays could not guarantee that Covid-19 would not still pose a risk after school reopened.
The National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) said it would follow the government’s advisory on Covid-19 to the letter.
“We strongly believe that the government will act in the best interest of the nation as they have all the facts and statistics,” said NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan.
Tan said teachers would find ways to ensure students were not left behind in their studies, similar to when the haze disrupted schooling sessions.
Meanwhile, Ali said the government should expedite efforts to implement e-learning (online learning) so that in the future, students can still continue with their lessons even if school is disrupted.
“We are not ready yet for e-learning, maybe only a few schools have the capacity for this. I believe the government has plans to shift to e-learning, perhaps after this (Covid-19) we can speed up efforts to develop e-learning.”
Munawirah also lamented that online learning was not an option yet. “I doubt even foreign universities based here are ready for it.”