Ako: Vaccination and SOP adherence currently best way to keep children safe in kindergartens

Child at play. — DayakDaily.com file pic..// Image by Esi Grünhagen from Pixabay

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KUCHING, Aug 31: With Sarawak as the only State in Malaysia where private kindergartens are allowed to operate physically, vaccination plus strict standard operating procedure (SOP) adherence at all times are currently the best ways to keep unvaccinated children safe in school.

The Association of Kindergarten Operators Sarawak (Ako) expressed its appreciation to Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah and the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry (KWKPK) for making that happen by working closely with the association on the safety protocols in ensuring that kindergartens remain a a safe learning place for Sarawakian children to pursue their early childhood education.

“As kindergarten operators in Sarawak are still struggling during these trying times, we hope that the government could provide us more assistance be it financially, mentally or physically. Ako believes in working together with the ministry for the betterment of the early childhood development industry,” said Ako in a statement yesterday.

The association pointed out that it has always stressed the utmost importance of vaccination of all their members’ early childhood educators to ensure all its members who are kindergarten operators sign their early childhood educators up to be vaccinated since April 2021.

By July 2021, with Fatimah’s assistance, the industry managed to see almost all early childhood educators in Sarawak vaccinated, with at least the first vaccine dose.

Apart from that, Ako also expressed appreciation to Fatimah for making vaccination accessible to parents in order to ensure a safer school community.

“Studies show that vaccination alone cannot provide full or 100 per cent protection against the Covid-19 virus, but vaccinations and following strict SOP made it possible to keeping our children safe in school under the hands of our early childhood educators.”

“Ako has always highlighted that all kindergarten operators in Sarawak must practise the highest standard of hygiene and safety measures in schools, which include updating students’ daily log book at home and in school, submiting health declaration forms every week before the start of the new school week, screening of health declaration forms to ensure that children are safe for the next school week, etc.”

The association held that since vaccination has yet to be made available for children, parents carry the responsibility to keep their children safe from the virus. They are constantly alerted to give strong cooperation by adhering to the safety protocols to keep the school community safe.

In Ako’s drive to ensure a safe learning environment, the association has also compiled its SOP with approval from the Kuching Divisional Health Office for its operators to follow so they will know which protocols to follow when faced with any situation pertaining to Covid-19 positive cases or persons-under-investigation or persons-under-surveillance.

AKO also believes all its kindergarten operators are professionals who will never compromise the safety of their early childhood educators, children and their families. — DayakDaily