Ministry hopes examination class students can return to school earlier

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry (MOE) has proposed to the National Security Council (MKN) that students in examination classes be allowed to return to school earlier than phase three of the National Recovery Plan.

Senior Education Minister, Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said to support the move, MOE is also requesting the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) to expedite vaccination for teachers and students in the category.

“Nonetheless, all these are subject to the decision of MKN on when these students are able to return to school to attend regular classes. The matter on vaccination is under JKJAV, so all the processes will be implemented by them.

“In the context of education, we will discuss how we can implement vaccination at schools which needs an in-depth study,” he said in a National Recovery Plan Interview online today.

According to him, so far 36 per cent or 148,580 teachers have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Asked if other teachers and students apart from examination classes are also given priority in the vaccination exercise, Radzi said MOE made the recommendation to JKJAV based on priority due to the limited supply of vaccines.

“If we can, we want all to be vaccinated, nonetheless seen from the priority aspect which is due to the limited supply, we are seeking for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) students to be given priority,” he said.  

Based on the National Recovery Plan announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently, the education sector will be allowed to operate in stages starting from phase three when the country has met three threshold values which are expected to be achieved at the earliest by the end of August.

The threshold values included the average daily cases falling below 2,000 cases, the public health system at a comfortable level with the rate of ICU bed occupancy falling to sufficient level and 40 per cent of the country’s population having received two doses of vaccine.

Meanwhile, Radzi explained that the earlier decision made by MOE including the cancelling Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3) this year would stay even though those involved had received their vaccine.

On the special recruitment of 18,702 teachers to resolve the issue of teacher shortage in some states, Radzi stressed that candidates who have education background would be given priority before opening to other graduates.

Nonetheless, selected candidate who do not have professional education background would be given adequate training to ensure the potential teachers could conduct teaching and learning sessions well.

“We place great emphasis on the quality of teachers in the school so this is not an arbitrary recruitment but an organised and thorough process for us to see. If the teacher for a particular subject cannot be filled by a graduate with education profession, we will ensure that the selected candidate receives adequate training.

“Give us confidence because we are trying to resolve issues that have been lingering for a long time and the approach we have taken will not affect the quality of teachers who will teach in schools in the future,” he said.

In the meantime, Radzi said the MOE was also working to resolve the issue of the transfer of ‘unhappy’ teachers and asked all parties to give some time to the ministry to formulate a more comprehensive approach.

‘Unhappy teachers usually refer to teachers who are husband and wife with one in the peninsula while the other is in Sabah or Sarawak, or in certain cases a child is with one of the parents. – Bernama