Putrajaya issues guidelines on contactless learning, other Covid-19 prevention measures for schools

Julia Chan
Contactless learning will be part of the new normal when schools begin opening again eventually. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Contactless learning will be part of the new normal when schools begin opening again eventually, according to the 32-page guideline issued by the Ministry of Education together with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council/

Under the guidelines, teachers will be formulating both school and home-based lesson plans with an emphasis on reducing physical contact for the foreseeable future.

School attendance will be introduced in phases and will start with those sitting for examinations like the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), dan Sijil Tinggi 7 Agama Malaysia (STAM) and also students with special needs.

Other students will continue to learn from home until it is decided otherwise.

“Students who will be allowed in school will follow the school lessons while the remaining will be learning from home.

“Teachers will have to implement different creative approaches where suitable to ensure learning is most effective. They will have to use a blend of in person and online methods that will also take in social distancing and not take place outside classrooms,” said the guideline.

All sports and extra curriculum will be postponed indefinitely.

In schools, hallways and corridors will be marked with one-way directions to avoid crowding and any common areas will require strict social distancing, including the teachers’ rooms.

For teachers implementing home-based learning, creative approaches can include online learning, educational TV, radio, quizzes, social media, and other exercises.

“They will have to take into account internet capabilities as well. Otherwise it will be exercises from textbooks, work books or normal homework for those without internet access,” said the guideline.

Any school projects will have to be based on materials that are easily accessible, while those that require materials can be obtained from the school’s security hut by parents or guardians.

Previously, Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the guidelines also include body temperature checks when the students entered school compound with temperatures above 37.5 degrees Celsius will not be allowed entry and they are to be referred to health clinics.

Students who walk or cycle to school will be made to cool down before being checked.

Each school will have an isolation room for students showing any symptoms like coughing, flu, sore throats or difficulty breathing. Hand sanitiser, soap and hygiene information is to be placed in designated spots and classrooms are required a minimum of one metre spacing between tables and students at any time.

Canteen food will be packed and students are required to eat in classrooms instead of the canteen. However, parents and guardians are encouraged to give their children packed lunches where possible.

School contractors like cleaners, canteen workers are also subjected to the temperature checks, hygiene standards and social distancing.

For hostels, temperature checks will also be conducted often and no gatherings of more than 10 students will be allowed. The same social distancing rules will be implemented in all areas.

Beds will be spaced apart and only the bottom bunk of double decker beds will be used.

As for international students and teachers, the guidelines ask that they get health clearance from their countries they have recently travelled to and have a quarantine certificate from the Ministry of Health if they have just returned from abroad.

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