Temperature checks, eating in class among back-to-school guidelines

Teachers mark social distancing spaces at the staff room of a school in Kajang. (Bernama pic)

KAJANG: Temperature screening before entering the school compound and eating in the classroom during recess-time are among practices that students will need to adopt when schools reopen.

Under the new guidelines issued to schools nationwide, teachers will carry out body temperature checks when students enter school compounds to determine if they show any virus symptoms.

“We are also aware that some students walk or cycle to school, therefore their temperatures will be slightly above 37.5 degrees Celsius.

“These students will be asked to rest first to ensure that their body temperature returns to normal before it is checked again,” Education Minister Radzi Jidin said.

He said schools would also have isolation rooms.

“If students show any symptoms, they will be brought there.

“The school, besides contacting the parents, will also contact the nearest health centre for further action,” he told Bernama after visiting a secondary school in Semenyih, accompanied by health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, National Security Council (NSC) director-general Mohd Rabin Basir and education director-general Habibah Abdul Rahim.

The practices are among the education ministry’s guidelines which will be distributed to schools today. They have also been posted on the ministry’s website.

The 34-page guidelines were developed in collaboration with the health ministry and NSC.

Radzi said parents would not have to worry about social distancing during recess-time as children would only be allowed at the canteen area in stages and would eat their meals in their classrooms.

“Students need to buy packed food, and they will queue with a one-metre gap between themselves and the next person before returning to their classroom to eat.

“The situation at the canteen will be orderly, and parents don’t have to worry about the kids jostling to buy food as recess-time will be carried out in stages to ensure that not all students gather at the canteen at any give time,” he said.

In order to maintain social distancing between students, there must be a one-metre gap between desks, with surplus students placed in other classes, he said.

He added that similar settings would be adopted at labs to ensure that lessons are carried out in a safe and orderly manner.

On the movement of students in school areas, he said arrows would be marked to prevent crowding.

He said the guidelines also emphasised the well-being, safety and health of teachers.

He said they would not need to worry about being placed in cramped teachers’ rooms as in order to ensure social distancing, schools would place them in suitable rooms including at the school resource centre.

Similar guidelines have been issued for students in dormitories where beds will be placed one metre apart. Corresponding measures will be taken at dining halls.

Once schools reopen, Radzi said, the ministry would monitor the implementation of the guidelines.

“We sincerely hope the students will practise social distancing while they are at school and throughout their journey to and from school,” he added.

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