Let states decide on closing schools, says Kit Siang

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PETALING JAYA: DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has criticised Putrajaya’s move to close schools nationwide saying state governments should have a say in the matter.

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In a statement, Lim said the government should strive to keep schools open rather than take a blanket approach of closing all schools, including those in areas that are not Covid-19 red zones.

A Covid-19 red zone is an area with more than 40 active cases.

Lim said the government should learn from its experience in fighting Covid-19 for the past 10 months and be flexible in its actions.

“One of the lessons in fighting Covid-19 is that no one rule fits all circumstances as school closures impact not only students, teachers, and families, but have far-reaching economic and societal consequences,” the Iskandar Puteri MP said.

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He questioned Education Minister Radzi Jidin’s rationale for closing all schools to prevent the spread of Covid-19, saying it was “not convincing enough” and that people in all countries must learn to live with the coronavirus in the absence of a vaccine.

Lim said as it was “inconceivable” for schools and universities to remain closed until a vaccine is found, they should be reopened with stricter SOPs or smaller classes.

“Decision-making on the closure of schools and universities should be decentralised. For example, mandating each state government to decide on the issue instead of a national agency.

“Education NGOs and parents groups should be involved in the process to keep schools and universities open during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said, adding the blanket closure of schools was an “easy way out”.

Previously, the government announced that all schools and vocational colleges will be closed from Nov 9 until the end of the year amid the spike in Covid-19 cases. – FMT

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