KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 – Secondary schools across the country finally reopen their doors today for students sitting for public examinations this year after almost three months of closure due to COVID-19.
The reopening of the schools is important, especially for the fifth and sixth formers, and hence the careful preparations made by the school and to ensure compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the Ministry of Health (MOH), as well as the school reopening management guidelines.
These students will be sitting for their 2020 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) and equivalent examinations.
Surely, there are quite mixed feelings among the parents, students and teachers, but with the COVID-19 situation being well under control, the reopening of the schools is most likely to run smoothly.
For this same reason, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has also decided not to postpone the reopening of all public and private preschools and kindergartens which is scheduled for July 1.
Among the school-reopening SOP are daily temperature checks for students, teachers and school visitors with those having a body temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius or symptomatic will not be allowed to enter the school premises; and no outdoor, sports and face-to-face co-curricular activities until further notice.
Senior Minister (Education) Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, after making spot checks on several schools yesterday, said he was satisfied with the preparations made by all quarters for the reopening of school.
He said the MOE will analyse the situation further later this week before discussing with the MOH and the National Security Council (MKN) on the best suitable time to allow other students to return to school.
On the COVID-19 situation, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday said only three new cases were recorded, with no deaths, enabling the death toll due to the coronavirus in the country to remain at 121.
Whatever the government decides, it is natural for Malaysians to be optimistic that the country is fast approaching the finishing line to break free from the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, they cannot be too complacent as the onus is now on them, the 32.7 million Malaysians, to make it happen by continue having self-control and following the SOP.