Let’s not reopen schools yet

Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: The Education Ministry was told to reconsider its plan to reopen schools and resume physical classes next month.

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said proceeding to reopen schools at the height of Covid-19 infections will invite criticisms as past events have shown.

“The Ministry of Education must discuss in detail and to reconsider the decision to resume physical classes in October. Is it really advisable to open them during this stage of the pandemic?

“Even kindergartens and nurseries should be temporarily closed too until the surge in Covid-19 cases declines,” he said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Tiong said recently there were a number of Covid-19 cases involving minors in kindergartens in Bintulu, adding that children shouldn’t be put through the gruelling task of enduring swab tests.

“The Minister of Education had announced the decision to restart physical classes in October. But have they considered whether each school had made the necessary preparations to effectively implement strict standard operating procedures (SOPs)?

“This is as well whether every person in the school has it ingrained in their minds to follow those SOPs?” he asked.

The MP said schools must be able to help or reassure the parents that their children are able to adhere to the SOPs and take their classes safely with a peace of mind.

Meanwhile, on the case data over the past few days, Tiong expressed hoped that the Health Minister assesses the situation on the ground and not listen to only one-sided departmental briefings.

“We need to be courageous enough to face the facts and reality on the ground during the pandemic and actively solve issues as they come.

“Otherwise, in the end, the people will lose confidence in the government and make the leaders pay,” he said.