PUTRAJAYA, July 1 — The Ministry of Rural Development allocated RM6 million to disinfect and prepare equipment at all Department of Community Development (Kemas) kindergartens and child care centres nationwide as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, said Rural Development Minister Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad.

He said the Kemas kindergartens and child care centres would use the rotation attendance system, whereby only 50 per cent of the children would be present daily based on the size of the premises so that social distancing could be practised.

“The children will attend classes every other day. For kindergarten children aged five and six, four-hour online classes will be conducted for those who do not attend classes,” he told reporters after visiting the Bunga Raya Kemas Kindergarten and Child Care Centre at Presint 11 here today.

Commenting on the RM6 million allocation, he said it included the cost of disinfecting all 520 Kemas child care centres involving 9,575 children aged between two and four and 10,910 Kemas kindergartens involving 218,177 preschoolers.

It also included the provision for thermometers, disinfectant liquid, face masks and disinfection equipment.

On the rotation attendance, Abd Latiff said only 46 out of 113 children registered at Bunga Raya Presint 11 kindergarten were present today.

“Prior to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March, the kindergarten had four classes of 28 children each. But now each class has only 15 children,” he explained.

Meanwhile, only 22 out of 35 children had registered to attend the child care centre during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period, but only 16 children were present today.

On the first day of the reopening of the Kemas kindergarten and child care centre, Abd Latiff also watched the children being taught to use the disinfectant liquid and told not to put their fingers in their mouths.

In another development, he said the ministry was considering setting up private Kemas kindergartens for families in the M40 group as there was a high demand for them, especially in Putrajaya where there are many working couples.

“Some parents also lost the eligibility to send their children to Kemas kindergartens perhaps because the husband is an officer while the wife works as a support staff. They can’t send their children to Kemas kindergartens, which charges RM20 per child, as they are not in the B40 category anymore.

“Perhaps, Putrajaya can become a pioneer in setting up private Kemas kindergartens which charge lower fees compared to other private preschools,” he said.


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