Coronavirus: Malaysia to reopen schools in stages from June 24

Students facing public examinations this year will be the first to return. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS/THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will begin reopening schools from June 24, its education minister said on Wednesday (June 10), as the country enters recovery mode after three months of strict curbs on movement and businesses to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

South-east Asia's third-largest economy began lifting most coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday, after the government declared that the outbreak was under control.

Schools will be reopened in stages, beginning with students facing public examinations and equivalent international school examinations this year, Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said.

Malaysia has reported 8,336 cases and 117 deaths.

The reopening of these classes will involve some 500,000 students at 2,440 schools, said Mr Mohd Radzi in a live televised broadcast.

He said these students would be taking SPM and STPM examinations - the equivalent O levels and A levels in Malaysia respectively, the Higher Islamic Religious Certificate and the Malaysian Vocational Certificate, as well as international equivalent exams.

He said the ministry's decision to allow schools to resume was based on advice of the National Security Council and the Health Ministry.

Mr Mohd Radzi stressed the importance of adhering to the healthcare protocols for these students to avoid a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Students have not been able to attend school since Malaysia imposed the movement control order on March 18.

"We hope parents and guardians will ensure their children are healthy before sending them to school," Mr Mohd Radzi said.

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