Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mixed emotions among students and parents as schools reopen in Malaysia amid Covid-19

Mixed emotions among students and parents as schools reopen in Malaysia amid Covid-19

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Malaysia's education ministry recently announced the reopening of schools in stages. THE STAR

Mixed emotions among students and parents as schools reopen in Malaysia amid Covid-19

The reopening of schools that began this week in Malaysia has drawn mixed reaction from parents and students, with some expressing relief over the decision and others conveying concerns at the present Covid-19 situation.

Housewife Salina Saad said that given a choice, she would not send her daughter Khaleeda Hamizat, 18, to school just yet.

She, however, believes that her daughter, a Lower Six student of SMK (L) Methodist in the capital Kuala Lumpur, is now better protected after completing two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine recently.

"Attending online classes at home is hard for my daughter as she can't really focus due to the bad Internet connection. So being able to go for physical classes will enable her to learn better. But still, I am worried even though the number of Covid-19 cases is going down," she said.

Salina, 51, said she reminds her daughter to always maintain good personal hygiene and to be alert with regard to her surroundings, adding that schools should also ensure strict standard operating procedure compliance when physical classes resume.

Khaleeda, who could not wait to return to school, said she could comprehend the subjects better during physical lessons.

"Online classes are not my preference as I can't really absorb lessons compared to face-to-face ones," she said, adding that she will spend more time on Economy and General Studies when school resumes.

Upper Six student Nicolas Chee, 19, said he could learn more effectively in class compared to online classes.

"I am ready to go to school. At home, the Internet connectivity is poor. I cannot ask questions properly on topics that I don't understand," said the student from Penang Free School in Penang state capital George Town.

Chee said his parents also did not object to him returning to school but reminded him to be careful and exercise caution at all times.

"I am glad that physical classes will resume as our examination is around the corner," said the fully vaccinated science stream student from Batu Lanchang, a suburb of George Town.

Muhammad Faiz Abdul Rahman, 19, still prefers to do preparations from home although physical classes will resume this week.

"I have been fully vaccinated but I would rather stay home to study as I am still worried about the Covid-19 situation," said Faiz, who is sitting for the Malaysian Higher School Certificate (STPM) pre-university exams at the end of this month.

He said his teachers had told them that the school has made all the necessary preparations for the reopening.

"I will go to school during the exams. My teacher said I can continue to study on my own; no one will be forced to go back to school," said Faiz, who studies at SMK Haji Zainul Abidin in the Jelutong suburb of George Town.

Recently, the education ministry announced the reopening of schools in stages, according to the phases the states are in under the National Recovery Plan.

However, class sizes will be limited and students will rotate between physical classroom lessons and online learning.

In Ipoh city, student A Immanuel said he is nervous about going back to school as Covid-19 cases in Perak state are still high.

The 17-year-old said he does not feel safe attending physical classes at the moment, even though online studies have been difficult for him.

"It was a bit difficult to adapt as I have been attending physical classes since Year One. However, right now I think online classes are the safest method," he said.

A Vaanetheeban, however, said learning face to face in school is much easier.

"It will be easier for students to understand lessons in a classroom environment. I will be more confident and mentally prepared to sit for the coming exams," said the 17-year-old.

LC Khoo, 17, has mixed feelings about going back to school.

"Part of me really wants to go back to class but I am also sceptical,” he said. “I know people who became infected with Covid-19 despite taking all the necessary precautions.

"So it can be really scary. I am not sure how far the school will go to ensure sanitation is carried out every day, especially on the tables and chairs."

Parent Radha T Gandi, 44, said face-to-face classes are the best solution, especially for exam-year candidates.

The mother of four added that it is impossible to keep children at home and away from school forever.



  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group