The reopening of schools for face-to-face classes, initially scheduled for Sept 1, will be pushed back to Oct 3 in stages, Education Minister Radzi Jidin said today.
He said the reopening of schools, which takes into account the Covid-19 situation in the country, would begin with students sitting for examinations.
“Details according to the phases of the National Recovery Plan will be announced as soon as possible,” he said in a video.
“But according to the SOPs of the National Security Council, schools in states under Phase One of the recovery plan will remain closed.
“I hope this explanation will ease the concerns of parents.”
He said the education ministry had not made any updated announcement about the reopening of schools due to the changes needed to manage Covid-19.
“All these issues are in the ministry’s plans. We have studied and arranged things carefully, but we need to look at the current situation before deciding what plan to put in place,” he said.
He also said the vaccination rate of staff who will be involved in the reopening of schools was at an encouraging level.
“As of today, 92.4% of teachers had received at least a first dose compared to 61.3% on July 17 while 72% of support staff had been given a first jab.”
Radzi assured that schools would not reopen until the entire education ecosystem is prepared to receive students for face-to-face classes.
Explaining the ministry’s statement on July 17, he said it was to ensure that the school ecosystem was ready for this purpose, contingent on risk assessments by the health ministry.
He said the reopening of schools would involve the movement of more than five million pupils and 500,000 teachers.
He added that the matter could not be looked at as a whole as the Covid-19 situation differs from state to state.