Follow SOPs or risk closure, Welfare ministry warns kindergartens

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah during a press conference.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, June 16: Kindergartens that do not comply to standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government will be asked to close immediately, warned Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

All 2,877 kindergartens throughout Sarawak can reopen on July 1, following SOPs prepared by the ministry and approval by State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.

“The SOPs are almost similar to the ones issued by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry at the federal level, which includes sanitisation of all premises by Bomba then followed by own staff on a regular and daily basis, social distancing from learning, having meals and nap time, no group activities, body temperature checks before entering the premises, wearing face mask, and so on,” she said at a press conference today.

The SOP is to ensure the school environments are safe not just for children and teachers but parents as well.

Fatimah further explained that before reopening, operators must brief all teachers, staff, parents and guardians on the SOP.

“Operators must also ensure all teachers and staff are healthy before they come to work. They are also required to fill in the declaration form,” she said.

Meanwhile, Fatimah said bigger centres have opted to conduct classes on alternate days or separate sessions such as morning or afternoon class.

She pointed out that the ministry had asked operators on how they were going to ensure children learnt in smaller groups and adhered to social distancing.

“Operators have discussed with many parents concerned. They have agreed and decided to split the session to morning, afternoon or children attending classes on alternate days.”

On another note, should any positive cases occur in these centres, Fatimah said SDMC would enforce circuit breaker measures and order the centre to close immediately.—DayakDaily