Sense of calm as 1.1 million Malaysian preschoolers, Year One and Two pupils enter schools

Meanwhile, students from Year Three to Year Six will return for face-to-face classes on March 8. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A sense of calm filled the air as 1.1 million Malaysian pupils entered schools nationwide for face-to-face learning on Monday (March 1).

The later-than-usual date of entering schools for preschoolers, Year One and Year Two students is due to the surge in daily Covid-19 cases.

Students from Year Three to Year Six will return for face-to-face classes on March 8, while secondary school students will begin attending physical classes from April.

Checks by The Star at several schools revealed that the majority of pupils followed standard operating procedures (SOP) and showed up in school as early as 6.45am.

This time around, no pupils were found kicking and screaming as they resisted attempts to step foot on school grounds.

Some schools had their teachers dress up in fun mascot costumes to cheer on their pupils, while parents were seen calmly ushering them into school compounds after checking their temperatures and scanning their MySejahtera apps at the school entrance.

Some of these schools only allowed parents to enter on the first day, while others maintained that no parents were allowed in.

Additionally, at some schools, teachers asked crowds of parents to disperse and pupils took care to maintain their physical distance as they waited their turn to have their temperatures taken before making their way to their respective classrooms, ushered by their teachers.

This is unlike the usual first day of school of previous years, where pupils and their parents would swamp school grounds, walking from classroom to classroom in search of their child's class.

Meanwhile, Education director-general Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim said in a Facebook post on Sunday (Feb 28) that she had observed the final preparations taken by three schools in Kedah; SK Mergong, SK Taman Uda dan SKPK Alor Setar.

She said that she saw the perseverance of all school staff to ensure that detailed preparations are carried out based on the standard operating procedures that are set.

"Congratulations, teachers. Your seriousness proves that we all want school sessions to be conducted in a controlled and safe environment, " she posted on Facebook on Sunday.

It had been announced earlier by Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin that secondary school students in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will start on April 4, while students in other states will return on April 5.

However, as parents continue to prepare their children to return to school in stages, many are anxious about sending them back.

A petition has been launched to close schools as daily Covid-19 numbers continue to record cases in the four figures and as of press time, the petition has garnered 11,625 signatures.


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