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COVID-19: Schools in Malaysia to close from Monday

COVID-19: Schools in Malaysia to close from Monday

FILE PHOTO: Students wearing masks walk past a classroom at a secondary school, as schools reopen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shah Alam, Malaysia Jun 24, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File Photo)

PUTRAJAYA: Schools in Malaysia will close from Monday (Nov 9), the education ministry announced on Sunday.

The last day of the school year in Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu was supposed to be on Dec 17, and Dec 18 for other states.

Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin said the decision to close schools earlier was taken following the implementation of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in all states in the peninsula, except Kelantan, Pahang and Perlis, which will be effective from Monday until Dec 6. 

“The move is taken to assist efforts by the government to break the chain of COVID-19 infection.

“In accordance with the school academic calendar for 2021 that was announced earlier, the school term will start on Jan 20, 2021. All primary school students will start face-to-face learning on that date," he told a press conference on Sunday.

Radzi said students in Form One, Form Four, Form Five and Form Six, as well as those in vocational colleges, will also begin face-to-face learning on the same date.

READ: Second lockdown observations: COVID-19 donor fatigue kicks in, but Malaysia's volunteers 

Students in Form Two and Form Three would also start on the same date, but with home-based learning. They will only return to school on Mar 8, 2021 for face-to-face classes.

Radzi said Form Two and Form Three students' classrooms would be used to accommodate Form Five students, who will sit for the 2020 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, which begins on Feb 22, 2021.

READ: Malaysia a kinder and stronger society six months into COVID-19 fight, a commentary

On the constraints facing students in rural areas, especially in getting Internet access for online learning, Radzi said the ministry would leave the matter to the teachers to use whatever approach or resources to ensure students do not lag behind in their studies.

For students staying at hostels, Radzi said parents or guardians should bring their children home.

"However, the students can continue to stay at the hostels while waiting to be picked up by their parents or guardians," he said, adding that during this period, they would be under the supervision of the hostel warden and their food and drinks would be provided by the school.

READ: IN FOCUS - How COVID-19 has disrupted the close links between Singapore and Johor

Radzi said the first day of the school academic session next year also applied to private schools and any learning institutions registered with the ministry.

For schools that are not registered with the education ministry, they are also advised to do the same, he added.

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