Bandar Kuching MP hopes clear plans in place when school reopens Oct 3

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, Aug 16:  A Sarawakian MP hopes the setting of Oct 3, 2021 as school reopening date is not a random date but one with clear plans leading up to it.

“I really hope this Oct 3 is not just a random date chosen by the (Senior) Minister (of Education Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin), but they have clear plans leading up to this date on what must be done to ensure and allay concerns of parents that it is safe to send children to school and help them catch up with their studies that they have missed out for almost one-and-a-half years,” said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii in a press statement today.

It is his concern that if MOE has no proper plan, the schools will continue to be closed as there is no alternative plan. School closing, Dr Yii said will have big impact not just on the students, but the whole school ecosystem including the canteen operators, bus school operators and others.

“That is why this issue must be dealt with greater urgency as these ‘lost generations’ could not afford to lose any more months on their studies especially since the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging.

“All plans that are put in place must be based on data and science, on the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“MOE must have a clear, comprehensive and strategic plan, convincing and relevant to the school’s opening and closing guidelines, developed jointly with health experts from WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, the Health Ministry and healthcare experts,” said Dr Yii.

Dr Yii said important parameters including vaccination coverage among all teachers, staff, canteen operators, bus drivers and even students must be sufficient.

On top of that, he believed that the government must subsidise Covid-19 self-testing kits and make it a norm even in schools where students and teachers test frequently before proceeding with classes to reduce risk of an outbreak in the school.

“Then schools must be opened progressively based on risk assessment and preparedness of the school to adhere to all necessary standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“The Ministry must avoid making decisions based on the “one size fits all” method and give autonomy to the district level education office and parents to make the best decisions for their children,” said Dr Yii. — DayakDaily