Remote learning cannot substitute in-person classes

Clarence Ting

KUCHING: While being on the same page with other anxious parents about their children returning to school in stages on March 1, Clarence Ting however, said remote learning was not a good substitute for in-person classes.

The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman said he had read of many who openly asked schools to remain closed out of fear and anxiety, but children would eventually need to go back to school.

“Instead of disseminating fear, I suggest the parent-teacher associations (PTAs) work with their respective schools to ensure standard operating procedures (SOPs) are met to mitigate the situation,” he said in a Facebook post on Monday (Feb 22).

He also suggests that elected officials talk to the Education Department in detail to check on their plans, and check every school if needed.

“Many on social media have quoted this and that country is doing well and their schools are open, check on their published SOPs, bring them to our national leaders, and make sure those working SOPs are implemented.

“Children’s education is too important to be politicised… We know that children under 18 will not be vaccinated, we know that this pandemic will be with us for a long time to come. This is the challenge.”

Only by working together, he stressed, that difficult issues could be solved for the good of the children.

On another note, he said about 3,500 students in Sibu would be sitting for the SPM 2020 examination on Monday (Feb 22).

“My son is one of them. I wish him the best.

“…and I want to wish all those taking the exams the best. This crucial exam has been postponed for three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Ting said the students had faced tough challenges leading to the exam, and they had to face disruption to regular classes, off and on remote learning, and parents’ fear of their children getting infected by Covid-19.