PUTRAJAYA, Sept 12 — Parents or guardians can choose not to send their children to school if they are worried about the threat of COVID-19 when schools reopen in stages starting Oct 3, said Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.

He said it would not be considered a disciplinary offence, adding that no warning letter would be issued to students.

“No warning letter will be issued to those who do not attend school, but parents are asked to write a letter to inform the school of their children’s absence,” he said in a press conference here today.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) today announced that physical classes which will start from Oct 3 in phases under the National Recovery Plan (PPN) would be implemented according to a weekly rotation system for primary and secondary school students.

He said school uniforms would not be made compulsory, adding that students are allowed to wear neat and appropriate clothes to school if they cannot fit into their uniforms.

“We do not want to put pressure on parents to provide new school uniforms for their children, our only goal is for the children to return to school,” he said.

Radzi said however, students are required to wear face masks at all times, adding that the wearing of double masks is encouraged.

He said the government would make efforts to provide face masks to students from low-income families.

Radzi said following previous standard operating procedures (SOPs) students would be required to eat in their classrooms during recess period under their teacher’s supervision, unless their classes are air-conditioned of which they would be required to eat in the open with supervision.

Meanwhile, Radzi said the weekly rotation system will not be implemented for boarding school students, instead, they must undergo COVID-19 self-tests to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The COVID-19 self-test will be conducted three times before the students enter the hostel, on the sixth day and also on the 14th day,” he said.

He also said schools would not be allowed to carry out co-curricular activities.

Meanwhile, Physical Education and Health Education (PJPK) classes are allowed provided that students are already wearing their sports clothes from home to avoid congestion in the school’s changing rooms, he added.

Radzi also stressed that students with symptoms are not allowed to attend school but if they are found to have symptoms while at school, they would need to take the COVID-19 self-test using saliva.

“We will provide COVID-19 self-test kits in schools and students who have symptoms will be placed in isolation rooms,” he said.


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