Make it easier to close schools with Covid-19 risks, says NUTP

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PETALING JAYA: The country’s largest teachers’ association wants the government to allow schools, including those in green zones, to close if there is a risk of Covid-19 spreading to students and staff.

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Presently, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Amiruddin Awang said, the closure of a school is subject to a risk analysis by the state education department.

This is because the government has given the education ministry (MoE) the authority to order a school to close if Covid-19 cases are detected.

“But now there is too much red tape. We must make it easier to close schools,” Amiruddin told FMT.

He said schools should be allowed to request to close if there are reports that parents are not sending their children or that the students or parents have come into close contact with Covid-19 cases.

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“Now we must prioritise the health and safety of students and teachers. We have digital learning capabilities, so we should utilise it to avoid the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

Amiruddin advised parents and guardians to support and have faith in teachers to carry out online learning despite the limitations of slow internet speed and insufficient devices at home.

He said online learning can be done in real-time through video calls and videos uploaded on YouTube and Facebook, and through materials which can be downloaded and accessed even without internet connection.

Meanwhile, Muslim teachers group Ikatan Guru-Guru Muslim Malaysia president Mohd Azizee Hasan said the MoE should be proactive in identifying schools affected by Covid-19 and shut them down.

He also said the ministry should have a contingency plan for students to prepare for examinations as the conditional movement control order (CMCO) had forced the closure of schools in several states.

“Only students who are taking their SPM or STPM exams need to be in school. Safety and health must be prioritised with the strict adherence to SOPs set by the health ministry and the National Security Council,” he said. -FMT

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