Selangor Journal
Students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Jelapang comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) by wearing protective face masks on the first day of school in the new norm during the recovery movement control order (RMCO), on July 15, 2020. — Picture by BERNAMA

‘Face mask usage encouraged at schools amid high Covid-19 cases’

TAIPING, Jan 1 — The standard operating procedure (SOP) related to curbing the spread of Covid-19 in schools and educational institutions, issued last April by the Education Ministry (MOE), is still applicable, said Deputy Education Minister Wong Kah Woh.

Wong said the SOP involved encouraging the use of face masks for teachers and students, in addition to school staff having to do self-tests if they have symptoms and always maintaining personal hygiene.

“However, we know that the issue of Covid-19 may change from time to time, and the MOE will always discuss and collaborate with the Health Ministry (MOH) regarding our methods or SOP, to prevent the spread of the virus,” he told reporters at the ‘Semarak Taiping’ programme, here, last night.

He said this when asked what steps the government would take in the event of an outbreak of Covid-19 in schools, following the current development of cases in the country.

On December 29, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, in a statement, said the situation remains under control, with most cases reported involving mild symptoms and not requiring hospital treatment, and that no new variant of Covid-19 has been detected in the country.

Asked if the MOE will temporarily close schools affected by the spread of Covid-19, Wong said that the ministry will handle each case carefully and seek advice from MOH for further action if the situation becomes serious.

He said matters related to the SOP would be finalised after discussions with the MOH, as it will continue to monitor this issue once schools reopen on January 2.

Meanwhile, regarding school uniforms, Wong said thus far, the MOE has not discussed the matter and no decision has been made on the time frame for the relaxation of sportswear for schools nationwide.

He said although the weather is back to normal now, there are still several schools on the east coast affected by the flood disaster.

“We at MOE always adhere to the principle of humanity, where we want to give our students relaxation and comfort in their learning. For us, the content of learning is more important than other issues,” he said.

On May 20, MOE did not set a time frame regarding special permission for students, teachers and members of the implementation group in all its educational institutions to wear appropriate sports attire during the hot weather which occurred at that time. 

It minister Fadhlina Sidek had said then that special permission depends on the weather conditions.

Meanwhile, on ‘Semarak Taiping’, Taiping Municipal Council president Khairul Amir Mohamad Zubir, in his speech, said that January 20, 2024 will mark the 150th anniversary of Taiping town, which was established through the Pangkor Treaty in 1874. 

The council will host a total of 150 programmes this year in conjunction with the anniversary.

— Bernama

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