KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — The face-to-face school session which was postponed earlier following the spread of COVID-19, will be commencing on March 1.

Senior Education Minister Senator Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said it involved pre-school, Year 1 and 2 classes while Year 3 to Year 6 sessions would start on March 8.

“Secondary school students in Group A states will start school on April 4 while secondary school students in Group B states will attend school on April 5 which is after the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2020 examination,” he told a media conference here today.

He said the decision to allow primary school pupils to start school session earlier was to allow pupils and teachers adapt to the new normal as well as the COVID-19 standard operating procedures.

Group A involves schools in Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu while Group B involves schools in Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

He said the school calendar would remain as issued earlier.

“The opening dates are adopted by all government schools, government aided schools, private schools and institutes registered with the Education Ministry (MOE).

“Schools not registered with MOE are urged to follow the school opening dates and comply with all stipulated SOPs,” he said.

He said vocational colleges would open on March 1 while international schools and private educational institutions, including tuition centres, would open on March 8.

Radzi meanwhile said that MOE had planned carefully and the approach was taken based on input and feedback from all parties.

Meanwhile, when asked on streamlining DidikTV when school session begins, Radzi said the content of  programmes for school students would be expanded considering primary school pupils would be starting school earlier.

On Wednesday, (Feb 17) , Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched DidikTV via channel 107 on MYTV, channel 147 on  ASTRO and on ntv7 channel on UNIFI TV starting from 7 am to 12 midnight nationwide.

For parents who are worried about the COVID-19 numbers, he said it was the responsibility of MOE to provide access to education safely and at the same time did not want students to be left far behind in learning.

“If there is a problem of health, parents can inform the school. I am also seeking the cooperation of parents waiting for their children after school to comply with SOP outside the school compound such as physical distancing and so on,” Radzi said.

Commenting on the SPM 2020 examination which will start this Monday, he said the method of SPM implementation this year is very detailed so that students are safe with strict SOP when sitting for the examination.

“Usually, there is only one examination hall but this time we are providing alternative rooms if it is required by candidates.

“Apart from that, we also provide special rooms if students show symptoms of COVID-19 while isolation room and transit room are for the use of students,” he said.

SPM 2020 is scheduled to start on Monday and will end on March 25.


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