ALL primary and secondary schools in the Sibu district in Sarawak have recently implemented a class rotation system to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Under this system, which is put in place to prevent congestion at schools, Years Four to Six pupils will go to school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while pre-schoolers and those in Years One to Three will go to school on Tuesday and Thursday.
For secondary school students, those in Forms Four to Six will attend school as usual, while those in the remove class and in Form Three will go to school on the first and third week of the month. The second and fourth week will be for Forms One and Two.
With the growing number of school-related clusters in the past few weeks, shouldn’t this system be implemented nationwide?
This is amid concerns of a growing number of COVID-19 clusters that have originated from schools and universities since January 2021 despite the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) that were in place to prevent the spread of the virus on campus.
If anything, this goes on to show that the SOPs are not 100% effective in the effort to contain the spread of the virus.
In the past three months, according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, there have been 41 clusters from the education sector including 15 from higher education centres and 11 from secondary schools.
Dr Noor Hisham’s COVID-19 update on March 25 also revealed that there were 10 clusters from pre-schools and primary schools, and five involving tahfiz centres and madrasah.
To further aggravate the situation, all five million students return to school this week – the first time everyone is back since the country had to deal with the third wave of COVID-19 cases in the recent months.
There is no doubt that going back to school is the right decision to make to prevent a ‘lost generation’ of students locked up at home. After all, many education experts have agreed that the benefits of attending school does outweigh the risks.
This is, of course, taking into consideration academic learning, mental health issues and the home environment.
However, it is equally as important that the Government, along with the Ministry of Education, learn how to properly handle and prevent the outbreak of the virus on school grounds because let’s face it: the current system that’s in place is far from effective, considering the number of school-related clusters.
In this case, maybe a class rotation system is the answer; maybe it’s not. But if there’s any chance at all that it will reduce the number of school clusters, maybe it’s worth a shot. – April 8, 2021
Photo credit: MalayMail