Press Statement By Violet Yong:
The reopening of schools for in-person learning in Sarawak is expected to resume when the state enters into Forth Phase of the National Recovery Plan sometime in early November.
The Ministry of Education has tightened the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and particularly stressed a lot in their guidelines that all schools must have proper and effective ventilation system in order to give a safe study environment for the students to be back in schools. It appears very good on paper but have the MOE taken sufficient steps to help the schools to implement such guidelines?
I was made to understand that neither the MOE provide any specific funding nor give any technical expertise for the schools to improve the school ventilation system. What was being told to the schools is that all curtains in the classrooms have to be removed for air circulation. As far the school toilets, many are still not sufficiently ventilated.
The guide-lines provided by the MOE to all schools are very generic but without proper technical guidance and proper funding, the schools will remain relatively unsafe.
“Proper ventilation, such as the volume of air to be drawn out of the confined toilet per minute or the size and number of ventilator fans needed to ensure sufficient ventilation is highly technical and our schools needed proper assistance on that.”
As such, without proper technical advice, some of the upgrades will not give the desire effect and put our students in danger. To date, the MOE has yet to address these questions.
It is equally important for the MOE to also making sure that the schools have sufficient resources to sanitise the common areas as frequently as possible or after each use which includes the science laboratories, prayer rooms etc. I urge that the MOE to take immediate action to look into the matters seriously and take immediate steps to ensure that the guidelines in placed is effectively implemented.