Students found in Malaysia to return to colleges from Mar 1 onwards: Education minister

20 February, 2021
Students in Malaysia might return to schools found in phases, you start with pre-schoolers along with Primary 1 and Key 2 learners on Mar 1. 

In a press meeting on Friday (Feb 19), Senior Minister for Education Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said all of those other primary students will go back to schools seven days later on Mar 8. 

"For secondary academic institutions, all levels will attend colleges on Apr 4 or Apr 5 (depending on states)," he said. 

Those in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will go back to their classrooms on Apr 4, as the rest on Apr 5. 

The dates apply to all government and private schools registered with the ministry, the minister said.

Following COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Malaysia possess imposed standard operating techniques to ensure physical distancing among students. (Photo: Bernama) 

Dr Mohd Radzi explained that pre-schoolers and the low primary students have already been scheduled to get started on schools earlier to enable teachers to obtain young expenses familiarised with the institutions' standard operating methods (SOP). 

"This as well allows teachers and father and mother for the best way to handle dispersal towards the end of the schooling day time," he added.

Meanwhile, he explained that the first of all week of April have been selected for secondary pupils to resume schooling because of logistics, just as the school-leaving Malaysian Education Certificate (SPM) examinations would require more space compared to previous years. 

Delayed from last year, the SPM examinations, to be held right from Feb 22 to Mar 25, would have up even more space than just an examination hall, the minister added.

"The SOPs are incredibly detailed and restricted to ensure our kids who are likely to sit for SPM may do thus in a secure and calm manner.

"This time, we are as well prepping alternative bedrooms for students to have their exams, together with transit rooms for many who are taking perhaps two papers on a single day time," Dr Mohd Radzi explained. 

Therefore, the ministry made a decision to resume secondary schooling following the mid-semester break, which begins towards the end of March before first week of April. 

Presently, the states of Selangor, Johor and Penang in addition to the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur is beneath the movement control order (MCO), while other states happen to be underneath conditional MCO or recovery MCO.  

National COVID-19 case tally stood at 274,875 as of Thursday. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Malaysian students' education for almost all of last year, when Malaysia went into its first MCO on March 18.

Schools, along with all non-essential businesses, were closed and interstate activity was curbed. Key school-leaving examinations had been postponed to 2021. 

As a result, teachers sought workarounds, such as conducting classes via Zoom and other video-conferencing apps, to help students keep up with their studies. 

Home-based learning became challenging for a few, as those on rural areas grapple with connection issues while less well-to-do families don't have enough electronic units for their children.  

Schools reopened later in phases from mid-July onwards as case quantities dropped. On Oct 14, colleges in the states of Selangor and Sabah and federal government territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya were shut again because of rising infections.

This shutdown was later extended nationwide from Nov 9, prior to the last day of the school year on Dec 17 and 18, according to states. 

This meant most students in Malaysia only attended school personally for about five to half a year in 2020.

Physical school sessions commenced on Jan 20 this season only for those sitting for school-leaving examinations. 

DidikTV KPM, a particular television channel focused on educational content, was launched by Primary Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Wednesday due to an attempt to increase usage of education for college students nationwide.