Don’t reopen schools yet, says STU

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KUCHING: Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) opposes the reopening of schools in places where Covid-19 cases are prevalent as it does not want teachers and students to be exposed to danger.

STU president Adam Prakash Abdullah said due to the increasing number of cases, decisions needed to be made wisely by relevant parties.

“We are certain that the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) would make the best decision for everyone, particularly the teachers and the students.”

He explained that the postponement period would give teachers more time to be vaccinated as well as to prepare the classrooms for the students’ return.

“This also allows relevant authorities to reassess the situation and make recommendations to MoE and the Education Department (JPNS) on whether or not it is safe to open schools.

“The emergence of the Delta variant is equally concerning, and we understand the concerns of parents who are hesitant to send their children back to school.”

When asked if students should return to school this year, Adam said schools could be opened at any safe time, but given the number of weeks remaining on the academic calendar, he believed that it would be more beneficial and convenient for all parties involved to plan for next year.

“If the situation permits, probably the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) candidates will be allowed to return to their respective schools in order to prepare for their examinations.

“We are saddened that these students have been deprived of assistance and guidance from the teachers in the classrooms. Thus, we hope that the teachers would provide as much guidance to them so that they can excel in their examinations.”

In addition, STU urged that all schools reopen next year.

“As for now, let the home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) takes its course, and let the teachers and students complete their task from home.

“After all, the teachers must follow and fulfil standard procedures while being closely monitored by the District Education Offices and JPNS. As a result, PdPR can be assured of being closely monitored and carried out.”

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