KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — The Education Ministry said today that Sekolah Kebangsaan Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur and Sekolah Kebangsaan Presint 8 (1) in Putrajaya will be closed until October 16.
It added that it can now close any school in the country for seven days if a Covid-19 case is detected without having to wait for the Health Ministry’s confirmation.
Referring to the Covid-19 positive cases at the schools in Putrajaya and in Kuala Lumpur, the ministry said the district health office had issued orders for both schools to be closed starting October 9 until October 16.
“This decision involves a total of 2,978 primary school students and 211 teachers and staff,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the order to close the two schools was to enable control of the spread of Covid-19 infections and to enable cleaning, disinfection and the tracing of close contacts.
The ministry also took the opportunity to explain the process involved before it decided to close schools.
The ministry said that it is constantly monitoring Covid-19 cases involving education institutions under the ministry, but said that any decision it makes is based on existing data and detailed discussions with both the Health Ministry and the National Security Council.
“Since the schools reopened starting from June 24, 2020, any decision to close classes or close schools are based on orders from the Health Ministry,” it said.
Throughout this period, the district health office would carry out a comprehensive risk analysis if it detects Covid-19 cases among students, teachers or others in schools, the Education Ministry said.
It explained that the Health Ministry would, via the district health office — based on the risk analysis — then issue orders whether to close classes, floors, buildings or the entire school.
But the Education Ministry went on to say that the National Security Council’s special meeting on Covid-19 which was chaired by the prime minister had this morning decided that any schools in the country with Covid-19 cases “have to be closed by the Education Ministry for seven days without waiting for the risk analysis by the Health Ministry”, in light of the trend of increasing Covid-19 cases.
“This is to allow for cleaning and disinfection works and for close contact tracing to be done by the Health Ministry,” the ministry said.
The Education Ministry went on to say that schools with Covid-19 cases have to comply with guidelines for school closures as issued by the Health Ministry.
As for students in fully residential schools located in red zones, they are required to stay in their hostels, the Education Ministry said.
Students in school hostels located in green zones but whose families reside in red zones will be required to remain at the hostels, the ministry said.
The ministry also assured that the schools would manage the safety and welfare of students in hostels.
“During the school closure period, school administrators are ordered to ensure teachers and students carry out teaching and learning at home,” the ministry said, adding that the manual for such activities can be downloaded at the ministry’s official website www.moe.gov.my.
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