More Than 1,000 Schools in Sarawak’s Covid-19 Red Zone Ordered to Close Will Only Reopen on June 14

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KUCHING (April 28): More than 1,000 schools in Sarawak’s Covid-19 red zones which have been ordered to close since April 20 will only reopen on June 14, said Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong.

He told an online news portal this decision was made by federal Senior Minister of Education Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin following an online meeting yesterday which was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

According to Manyin, Radzi had decided to let the schools remain shut as it would only be five schooling days before the schools start their Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays from May 8 to 16.

The students were supposed to return to class on May 3 after the two-week closure order imposed by the Sarawak government to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections in schools in red zone districts.

With Radzi’s earlier announcement on Monday that school lessons will be held online for two weeks after the Hari Raya holidays from May 17 to 28 and the mid-term holidays for two weeks starting on the next day (May 29), this means that affected schools in the state’s red zones will stay closed until June 13.

As such, Manyin said it will be a long holiday for the 372,433 students and 30,435 teachers in the 863 primary and 146 secondary schools that have been closed..

“During this long holiday, my Ministry will meet with the State Education Department, SDMC and State Health Department to discuss what should be our way forward,” he said.

He added that the way forward could be to follow the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) list of guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) it had drawn up but adjusted to suit the situation in Sarawak.

On April 19, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg had announced that all schools in Sarawak’s Covid-19 red zones have been ordered to close for two weeks effective April 20.

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