The Sun Daily: MOE to create safe environment for students attending physical classes - Radzi

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry (MOE) will ensure that a safe environment will be created for students to attend physical classes, following the reopening of schools in stages, starting Oct 3.

Senior Education Minister, Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin, said although all students nationwide had not yet received the full Covid-19 vaccination, the ministry will ensure that all ecosystems around students in schools are safe.

He said the approach was not new as many countries have also used a similar method, when the vaccination programme was running in parallel with the reopening of schools.

“The vaccination programme for school children aged 12 to 17 has just started. At the same time, students in primary schools cannot be vaccinated yet.

“Hence, we take into account what is best for our children, and at the same time ensure that safety aspects are given emphasis in their attendance at school.

“Hence, we are open to children returning to school; we create a (safe) environment, we mitigate the risk in ensuring their attendance at school is in a safe environment,” he said in a press conference on the operation of schools here, today.

Radzi said as of yesterday, 88.56 percent of teachers had completed Covid-19 vaccination and 97.46 percent had received the first dose, while for members of the implementing group (AKP), 83.38 percent had completed vaccination and 99.96 percent had received the first dose.

For support services such as cleaners and security staff, as well as operators and employees of school dining halls and canteens, a total of 74.90 percent had completed vaccination and 90.59 percent had received the first dose.

“We like to emphasise that those who are in the school compound at any time have been vaccinated, including employees in canteens and dining halls,” he said, reiterating that teachers who refused to be vaccinated will not be involved in teaching face-to-face in the classroom.

On school bus services, Radzi advised parents to pay attention to the vaccination status of private school bus drivers, for appropriate action.

He said for school bus operators registered with the Ministry of Transport, they had obtained the list and held discussions with the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), to ensure that they have been vaccinated.

In the meantime, Radzi said school hours are still as usual, to give flexibility to schools to ensure that the admission and dispersal of students in stages can continue to be implemented.

“Even though with only 50 percent of the student attendance capacity, the school needs to ensure both admission and dispersal sessions are carried out in stages, to ensure there is enough time for the process to be implemented,” he said.

Earlier, Radzi announced that students will take turns to attend school, with attendance set at 50 percent of the classroom capacity to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. — Bernama

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