Private kindergartens were given the green light to continue operating to meet the needs of working parents and guardians as the movement control order (MCO) which comes into effect at midnight is more economically friendly than the lockdown imposed in March last year, says Education Minister Radzi Jidin.
He said any decision to continue sending their children to such kindergartens would be the responsibility of parents although health and safety factors would also be taken into consideration.
“In the context of what is needed, we have allowed kindergartens to remain open,” he said in a briefing session with members of the media in Kuala Lumpur today.
In a statement last night, the education ministry said private kindergartens registered with the ministry could continue operating face-to-face.
This sparked debate among parents on social media with many saying children should not be attending kindergarten during the upcoming MCO.
But Radzi said his ministry would ensure that all parties including kindergarten operators and parents work together to follow the SOPs that had been in place since last year, before schools were closed down until the end of 2020.
When asked if teachers who would begin work on Jan 20 are required to undergo swab tests before starting, Radzi said there was no need for such measures at the moment.
He said it would be enough to comply with the SOPs in schools to reduce the rate of infection among teachers and students.
“This is in light of the existing health system and capacity. With SOPs in place, we will ensure that teaching and learning can be carried out in a safe environment,” he said.
On a separate matter, Radzi said private tuition centres in areas under MCO are not yet allowed to open although school teachers are advised to hold extra classes for exam candidates subject to health SOPs.
“If they want to hold extra classes in school, we will allow it.
“But tuition centres in states under conditional MCO and recovery MCO are allowed to operate.”