Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin. Photo: Bernama

SANDAKAN: The reopening of schools during the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period reflects the government’s concern over student’s welfare, especially those in the rural areas who have limited broadband service to enable them to participate in lessons conducted online, said Senior Minister (Education) Dr Radzi Jidin.

He said that while the ministry looked for ways to address the problem, the government decided on reopening schools in phases with Covid-19 prevention standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place.

“We have been aware of the limitations that rural students face. Besides Internet (access), most of these students do not have devices such as laptops or tablets that they could use to participate in online classes.

“So, we (government) decided on the reopening of schools because we knew many students, especially in the rural areas, were unable to communicate with their teachers or receive learning materials despite several efforts taken to ensure students were not behind in their studies,” he said when met by reporters after visiting Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Fajar here today.

On his two-day visit to Sandakan, Radzi said he visited several schools in the district and was pleased that they had adhered to the SOPs during the first three phases of schools’ reopening, including management of school hostels.

The reopening of schools began with Form 5 and Upper 6 students on June 24, followed by pre-schoolers on July 1, and Forms 1-4 students and Years 5 and 6 pupils on July 15, while pupils in Years 1-4 and Lower 6 are scheduled to return to school on July 22. – Bernama