Making news

SEA countries gradually reopen schools

Schools in several states in Malaysia are set to reopen from October 3, but only 50 percent of students will be present at school.

Education Minister Radzi Jidin said that students would be split into two groups, taking turns to attend classes in person. Homeschoolers will be informed about the topics to be studied and supporting materials are available on YouTube and on DidikTV. However, schools will be reopened based on the four-stage National Recovery Plan (NRP) assessment criteria, Datuk Radzi said, adding the reopening will involve only states that are already under the third and fourth phases of the country's COVID-19 exit plan.

Under the NRP, phase one is a full lockdown of activities except those deemed essential, while phase two allows slight easing of restrictions, especially in workplace operations. Phase three sees most sectors operating while some curbs on social sectors remain, and phase four is nearly a full reopening.

Speaking to the press on September 12, Malaysian Senior Minister and Minister of Education Dr Radzi Jidin said this decision is not easy in the context that the number of new infections and deaths from COVID-19 is still high. However, he emphasised the fact that Malaysia has moved to implement the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Meanwhile, after nearly a month of piloting the limited opening, the Jakarta Department of Education and Training is planning to reopen about 900 schools from kindergarten to high school on September 27.

Director of the department Putoyo said that out of 1,500 schools allowed to organise face-to-face teaching in phase 1, 610 schools have opened to a limited extent while the remaining schools are still under evaluation.

In addition to continuing to reopen schools, the Jakarta Department of Education and Training also plans to hold classes every day, instead of just on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as at present. This will allow each student to have two days of face-to-face learning per week.

The department aims to reopen about 8,900 schools in the capital in November in phases, including the first phase with 1,500 schools. This list does not include educational institutions under the management of the Ministry of Religion./.