Uggah (right) inspecting the new hand washing area at SMK Spaoh.

BETONG: Rural schools here are doing their best to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Ministry of Education (MOE) for the resumption of classes.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas paid a visit to SMK Spaoh and five primary schools to check on preparations when schools reopen on July 15.

The five primary schools visited by Uggah were SK Spaoh, SK Suri Debak, Sk Gayau, SK St John and SK Paku Central.

Preparations included setting up hand washing areas, getting enough hand sanitisers, thermometers, creating social distancing marks along corridors and the one-metre gap between desks in classes.

Primary Five and Six, Form One to Four, Remove classes return on July 15, while Primary One to Four return on July 22.

Uggah was met by the respective headmasters or senior representatives who briefed him on what they had done and would be doing to ensure the best protection for the students.

He also was briefed on the schools’ general development requirements.

“In those schools that use plastic water containers with taps for hand washing purpose, Uggah wanted them to set up a more proper system using aluminium/steel basins and piped water.

“He said this was more healthy and would be more permanent in nature as the fight against the virus could be a long drawn battle,” a statement said.

He also called on the school authorities to buy more hand-held thermometers.

Uggah (left) registers himself by scanning the Covid-19 QR code.

Uggah, who is also the chairman of the State Disaster Management Committee, said the government was prepared to provide them with financial assistance for the purpose.

“In larger schools with greater student population, he planned to help them to acquire thermo scanners to deal with the potential long queues,” the statement added.

Uggah also reminded teachers of their vital role in protecting their young students, and said they were now playing the role of the frontliners.

“Please make sure that all SOPs and whatever advice given by the education and health ministries from time to time are strictly adhered to,” Uggah said.

Also present during the visit were Dr Richard Rapu, a political secretary to the Chief Minister; Betong District Education officer Supian Ekeram and his colleague Emparie Tom, and Spaoh District administrative officer Lister Clement.