SDMC, Education Dept to discuss July 15 school reopening

Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will be discussing with the State Education Department regarding the resumption of classes for Form 6, Form 1 to Form 4, and Year 5 and Year 6, as well as remove classes (kelas peralihan).

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said this would have to be looked into as a whole, taking into consideration the recent Covid-19 cases.

“That question has been asked so many times, SDMC will be discussing with the Education Department on the matter. We still have two more days before a decision is made.

“We will have to look at our recent (Covid-19) cases and others into consideration because recently, most cases are confined in Sarawak. I hope that people in Kuching will stay where they are and not go to populated places until we flatten the curve,” he said after officiating the First Series Auxiliary Firefighters Commissioning ceremony at the State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) headquarters, Jalan Setia Raja here.

He said the public had been receiving WhatsApp messages recently that “certain schools are closed down or this person is being quarantined…it is not because the virus is there but it is part of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for contact tracing”.

When asked about school buses operating as usual, Dr Sim did not give an immediate answer and told the press to attend a function on Wednesday to know the answer.

On July 1, Education Senior Minister Dr Radzi Jidin announced that schools nationwide would welcome all students — primary and secondary — in phases, starting July 15 (Wednesday).

The first phase of school reopening took place on June 24 for 500,444 students from over 2,500 schools taking their public examinations this year, namely SPM, SVM, STPM, STAM, and equivalent international school examinations.

Radzi said the second phase, starting July 15, would involve students from Form 6 (Semester 1), Form 1 to Form 4, and Year 5 and Year 6 for primary schools, as well as remove classes.

The third phase will start on July 22 and will involve Year 1 to Year 4 pupils.