DUNGUN, Oct 3 — Face-to-face school sessions involving 47,000 students in Terengganu, Kelantan and Langkawi, Kedah which commenced today went smoothly.
Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said overall, schools had successfully complied with the stipulated procedures and guidelines to prevent COVID-19 infection, including the ventilation aspect in classrooms which had been emphasized by the ministry previously.
“The ventilation in almost all classes is at the optimum level and students and teachers are wearing face masks in the classrooms.
“Everything is going well, including the rotation system. As we have announced before, only half of the students will be in the classroom while the rest will be studying at home. This will allow them to maintain physical distance and we also hope that the admission and dispersal of students can be done in an orderly manner.”
He said this to reporters after observing the face-to-face school session at Sekolah Menengah Sains Dungun here today.
Earlier, Radzi also visited several other schools including Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sultan Sulaiman in Kuala Terengganu; Sekolah Menengah Agama Marang in Marang; and SMK Tengku Intan Zaharah in Dungun.
Meanwhile, Radzi said more than 80 per cent of Form Five and Form Six students nationwide had received the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said in general, the vaccination process for Form One to Form Five students was going well so far and the number of vaccine recipients among the group had increased quite quickly.
“Almost all Form Six and Form Five students have been inoculated. Now, (the vaccination process) is being implemented in stages. Some will be done in schools like SMK Sultan Sulaiman (Kuala Terengganu) today which is the vaccination centre for two schools,” he said.
In a related development, Radzi said the decision not to allow some 2,000 teachers who refused to be vaccinated to conduct face-to-face lessons would not affect the teaching and learning sessions either in school or at home.
“We have identified their schools and subjects that they teach. Therefore, when I said that there is a huge possibility of them being transferred out, it does not mean that they can conduct face-to-face lessons in the other school. No.
“There are cases where almost all teachers who teach the same subject refuse to be vaccinated. That is why we decided that these teachers need to be transferred out to ensure that the posts are not affected. But for now, these teachers are given other tasks,” he said.
Meanwhile, Radzi said the decision to start the 2022 academic calendar in March was made based on in-depth discussions with various parties including teachers, parent-teacher associations representatives in several states, principals, headmasters and experts.
“We make this decision so that we can make full use of January and February to ensure our children are truly ready to advance to the next class.
“We are confident that this approach will give enough time for our children to be prepared and ensure they achieve the minimum level of mastery before proceeding to the next class,” he said.
Previously, Radzi said the 2021 schooling session will be extended to March 2022 so that intervention among weak students can be carried out on the grounds that they have not attended classes for some time.