PETALING JAYA: The Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) has urged the government to reopen all schools across the country, but on a rotation basis with stricter SOPs.
In a statement today, PAGE honorary secretary Tunku Munawirah Putra expressed concern about the possible impact the extended closure on schools would have on children.
Citing a Khazanah Research Institute study, she said that 77% of Malaysian students were unable to participate in online learning.
“Not much improvement has been made to online learning since schools reopened in June. As the education minister said, online learning will depend on the capacity and capability of the schools and teachers.
“This is a sad case where there is no guarantee, no check and balance or plans to ensure that learning will take place and improvements are made. The teachers and schools are left much to their own devices without guidance or training to improve.”
She said the recommended online learning method had been a “grave failure” and caused an increase in student dropout rates due to the lack of face-to-face classes.
Tunku Munawirah also questioned the government’s SOPs for schools, in which over 1,000 students had been infected with Covid-19 despite health and safety regulations.
She suggested for schools to reopen by placing students in different sessions on alternate days, as a method for crowd control and limiting the number of students at any one time.
She also called for the SOPs on examinations to be reviewed, as there had not been any changes to the regulations since it was first drafted in 2009 for the H1N1 outbreak.
“We cannot stress how important it is to have children back in school with stringent SOPs. We urge the education ministry, health ministry and National Security Council to review this urgently for the sake of our children’s learning.”
All schools, including vocational colleges under the education ministry, have been closed since Nov 9. They are to remain closed until the end of the school term on Dec 17 and Dec 18.
Education Minister Radzi Jidin had said all primary school students were required to resume face-to-face classes on Jan 20. The same goes for Form One, Four, Five and Six students as well as vocational college students.
All Form Two and Three students will also begin the new school term on the same date, but through online learning. They will only be allowed to resume classes in person on March 8.