Move to reopen schools lauded; have potential to alleviate social issues

By Bernie Yeo


THE Malaysian Government’s recent announcement that schools across the country will reopen from March 1 is a risky but important move.

As long as the relevant standard operating procedures (SOPs) are in place and the schools are ready, the reopening of schools, which will occur in stages, can alleviate some social issues that had been on the rise during the various lockdowns, chief among them depression, child abuse and domestic violence.

After all, parents working from home had to juggle between working, attending to their children’s needs as well as supervising their online education. Parents who were still expected to go to the office, however, were expected to leave their children under the care of other family members.

Students, on the other hand, were forced to adapt to the lack of social interaction and inactivity as a result of school closure.

In addition to restlessness, boredom, and concerns of them being overweight and obese, school closures have also resulted in some of them losing basic skills, regressing in learning abilities, and having to relearn how to interact with other students.

While home-based learning can be a temporary measure during the pandemic, it should not be a long-term solution. For children, especially the younger ones, social interaction is central to their development. Interacting with other children their age will allow them to develop different social skills, and the closure of schools is hindering this progress.

Furthermore, school isn’t just a place that you go to pass exams; it is also where you learn about and embrace different cultures while building friendships and cultivating togetherness through extra-curricular activities.

What is important to understand is that learning does not just occur inside the classroom; what you learn outside the classroom is what makes the whole learning experience more wholesome. – Feb 26, 2021

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE