Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching has called Sarawak's State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC)’s decision that schools in Sarawak’s Covid-19 red zones stay closed until March 14 a rejection of the Education Ministry's original decision.
"The decision is no different than a slap to the Education Ministry. Basically, the Sarawak state government is saying ‘I disagree with you',” said Teo in a statement today.
According to the SDMC, the decision was made after discussions with the Sawarak Health Department and the Education Ministry, which had earlier decreed that preschools and primary schools will reopen from March 1.
Education Minister Radzi Jidin had announced that Year 1 and 2 students will be back to school on March 1, while those in Year 3 to 6 will be back in school on March 8.
"The MOE should therefore explain to the teachers and parents in Semenanjung and Sabah.
"If they think that schools are unsafe to be opened for red zones in Sarawak, why is it safe for us in the other parts of Malaysia?" asked Teo.
She said Sarawak's Covid-19 numbers were similar to and even smaller than that of other states.
On Febr 27, Sarawak recorded 255 new cases, 314 cases in Johor, 862 cases in Selangor, 305 cases in Perak, and 117 cases in Kuala Lumpur.
"The total active cases in Sarawak as of yesterday was 2,397 cases, Johor 2,734 cases, Selangor 3,002 cases, Perak 3,626 cases, Kuala Lumpur 2,911 cases.
"Sarawak is currently under a conditional movement control order (MCO), however, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang are still under a full MCO.
"Aren’t these factors all indicators that the Covid-19 situation in Selangor, Johor, etc is also very critical?
"So, what are the factors being used to decide that schools in Sarawak red zones stay closed until March 14, while the schools in other states red zones can re-open?
"What are the measuring indicators employed to arrive at a scientific and logical conclusion that it is indeed safe to re-open schools?" asked the Kulai MP.
She said the ministry should convince all Malaysians that their decisions are made professionally backed by proof and proper analysis and they have given equal considerations for the kids in red zones outside Sarawak.