The ministry of education has recently decided that teachers who are vaccine-hesitant or refuse to be vaccinated will not be allowed to interact face-to-face with students when schools and IPTs are reopened on October 3rd, 2021.
The Education Minister, Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin, has said that the strict measure was to ensure that the education system in Malaysia would not be affected by the potential spread of the Covid-19 virus by these irresponsible teachers. It is also another step to ensure that parents will be confident in sending their children back to school, where a safe and healthy school ecosystem awaits them.
As of early September, there were still around 2,500 teachers who have not received their vaccination jabs, while 96.7% had at least one shot and 85.26% have completed both doses. Dr Radzi also mentioned that the ministry would issue newer guidelines for unvaccinated teachers, as well as potential actions levied against teachers refusing the vaccine.
Anti-Vaxx Teachers & Educators, The Ministry of Education May Be Coming For You
On that topic, game plans are currently being discussed between Malaysia’s Education Ministry and the Public Service Department on the actions that should be taken against the teachers who are anti-vax or who refuse to take the Covid-19 vaccines.
Dr Radzi has mentioned that there were two groups of teachers who belong to the unvaccinated group: those who were not taking the vaccine due to health reasons corroborated by their doctors, as well as those who do not wish to be vaccinated at all. For the latter group, the ministry intends to restrict their face-to-face interactions with the students in schools when it reopens next month. This measure was in line with the new standard operating procedures (SOP) announced by the ministry to coincide with school reopening.
Here are the rest of the stricter SOPs to be implemented in stages from October 3rd:
- Attendance in schools is capped at 50% per each classes’ capacity on a weekly rotation schedule. Exceptions to this rule include students who are in Form Six Semester 2, boarding school students, special needs, international exam year students, and preschool/private kindergarten with low enrolment.
- All schools in Phase One states will not reopen until they move to Phase Two. All learning will be done via home-based teaching and learning lessons (PdPR).
- The reopening of schools in Phase Two states will only involve Form Six second semester students. The rest of the school will maintain the status quo under PdPR.
- Phase Three states are allowed to reopen their schools starting with Form Five and Six students, along with other exam year students in both private and national schools. Preschool and kindergarten pupils will also be allowed to attend without rotation.
- Exam year students and Form Three and Four students in full boarding schools will return in full starting from 17 October. Similarly, national schools will see the return of exam year students and Form Three and Four students on a rotational basis from 17 October onwards.
- Primary school students will return in stages on a rotational schedule every two weeks starting from 17 October.
- Forms One and Two will return to school starting from 31 October 2021.
- The new academic year will start in March 2022 instead of January, and students will remain in their current Years and Forms until then.
- Classes and all rooms must be well ventilated and curtains that prevent ventilation should be removed.
- Face masks are mandatory.
- Students and pupils must eat in their classes during recess.
- Co-curriculum activities are still restricted, while physical education classes can carry on with the caveat that students wear their sports outfits from home.
- Students with symptoms are not allowed to enter school.
- Boarding schools will be made a bubble for returning students.
- Uniforms are not compulsory but students should wear neat and appropriate clothing.
- Parents may opt to exclude their children from returning to school. No disciplinary action will be taken. However, the parents must write a letter of explanation to the school if they choose to do so.
- If there are Covid-19 cases in schools, SOP guidelines from the district health offices are to be followed.
- Schools in states or areas that have been designated as travel bubbles will follow Phase Four guidelines.
- As a state moves from one phase to the next, the educational institutions and schools will only operate according to the new phase two weeks after the announcement.