Students’ learning never stopped despite schools closing, says STU president

Adam Parkash Abdullah (file photo).

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, April 19: Despite the closure of schools and physical classes, the teaching and learning processes between educators and students never stopped.

Though closing and reopening schools repeatedly may disrupt the children’s studying momentum, Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president Adam Parkash Abdullah said the students will eventually learn to settle into the new schooling norms with proper guidance.

“We will not deny that this will somehow disrupt the studying momentum for now but as the students progress through the new schooling norms, they will somehow settle into the system and know what is expected of them.

“Here, parental guidance is very important and STU appreciates very much comments from parents on how their children are doing quite well with the PdPR (home-based teaching and learning),” he said.

However, he added, miracles would not happen in a short period of time as PdPR is indeed out of the norm and students should be given time and proper coaching by dedicated teachers before they can wholly accept this new learning experience.

For long-term solutions, he said the time has come for the Ministry of Education (MoE) to look into current situations and make adjustments to the curriculum and academic calendar.

He urged the ministry to gather scholars and academicians to review existing education policies or plans to come up with something more suitable for the future taking into account both the students’ safety and education.

On Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s announcement earlier today that all schools and tuition centres in Covid-19 red zones would be closed for two weeks starting April 20, he expressed confidence in the former’s decision where the safety of students, teachers and the public are taken into account.

“We have been crying out to relevant authorities to do the same but decisions were very slow and it worries us. STU would like to thank the Chief Minister for his wise decision and that would relieve stress among those in the red zones,” he told Dayakdaily when contacted today.

Noting that face-to-face interaction is still the best form of teaching and learning, Adam said schools in Covid-19 orange and yellow zones could go on but under strict supervision and cooperation from both parents and teachers.

He said the long-term closure of schools is undesirable despite concerns over the safety and health of the school community.

“Therefore for schools in the orange and yellow zones, if the situation is under control, it is good for schools to operate as usual abiding by strict SOPs (standard operating procedures).

“If the situation gets worse, then STU recommends that PdPR be implemented as well,” he added. — DayakDaily