Dr Sim: S’wak facing ‘crisis within a crisis’ schools will open based on our decision

Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian ... Red zone areas in state under close watch - DDfilephoto

KUCHING, Jan 15: It would be wise not to follow the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s circular blindly on the opening of schools in Sarawak on Jan 20 as the State is now facing “a crisis within a crisis”.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, in pointing this out in his Facebook posting yesterday, thus said that Sarawak through the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) would make its own decision by accessing the risks based on zones.

This, he added, was given that Sibu will be placed under Movement Control Order (MCO) for two weeks starting tomorrow (Jan 16), while Kuching, Sarikei and Miri are still under Conditional MCO until Jan 26.

The situation, he noted, was aggravated by the floods that have affected many areas including Kuching plus teachers who entered Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah need to observe 14-day quarantine before resuming their duties.

“No doubt, education is utmost important for our children as last year was probably the only time in their lives in which students only went to schools for only three months and nine months holidays.

“(There will be a) Lot of catch up to do (as not everyone has good access to online classes), but the safety of the students, teachers and parents during Covid-19 must take precedence,” he emphasised.

As such, Dr Sim urged people to stay focused, vigilant and play their roles seriously as that was the only way to fight and win the war against Covid-19.

“Sarawak needs help from everyone to quickly trace, test and isolate themselves to flatten the fourth wave, which is more dangerous than the previous three waves,” he added.

Meanwhile, with the school term for the new academic year commencing on Jan 20, Education Ministry has announced that in CMCO areas, preschoolers, primary students, Form One student and students sitting for public examinations of SPM and STPM will attend physical classes while Form Two and Three will continue with home-based learning. -DayakDaily