Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The Education Ministry is told to prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) in the event an outbreak of Covid-19 occurs in schools.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, in stressing this, said that with clearer instructions, there would generally be better compliance as students and teachers would be prepared and heed the needed precautions.

“I hope the Education Ministry and the Health Ministry has done all the necessary preparations, simulations and formulated the necessary precautions in our local context for any eventualities so that we are always prepared.

“This also has to be communicated to all, including parents, so they can also prepare their children before they go back to school,” he said in a statement on Thursday (July 2).

Dr Yii said, in the reopening of schools, the Education Ministry should engage the parent-teacher association and school board to get their input on which model of reopening of schools to use.

“The ministry introduced three main models of opening based on size, and density of each school, but I believe the input from the teachers, parents and also board members will be useful so that all stakeholders are included in this important decision,” he said.

He said it was important that schools reopen so that students would not get left behind in their studies, especially those without proper Internet connectivity or gadgets for online learning.

“But it has to be done properly so that we can avoid any spread of the virus, causing a second wave, just like South Korea, France and some other countries,” he said.

Dr Yii said, with home-based learning replacing conventional learning in the past months, many students in Sarawak had been left out.

“This is not only limited to those in the rural areas, but also among the urban poor that cannot afford proper computer or even TV and also lack the guidance and discipline to follow the materials prepared through this home-based model.

“Sarawak’s Education Minister once said that 50 per cent of students do not have access, and this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed,” he said.