Police help monitor health protocol compliance as schools reopen

PUTRAJAYA, 24 June 2020:

Twenty-two police officers from the Putrajaya district police headquarters (IPD), who are also school liaison officers for 11 secondary schools here, have been assigned to monitor and ensure compliance of the schools with standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.

Putrajaya district police chief ACP Mohd Fadzil Ali said two police personnel with the rank of inspector and sergeant will be present at each school from 7.30am to 2pm every Monday throughout the RMCO period.

Previously, they only visited the schools twice monthly to monitor safety and crime activities in the schools, he said.

“These police officers are responsible for ensuring SOP compliance and advising the school community to make further improvement if necessary,” he said after visiting Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Putrajaya Presint 8 (1) here today.

Mohd Fadzil said no reports were received on SOP violations at schools so far, and that he was also satisfied with the level of SOP compliance he had witnessed during his visit.

All secondary schools reopened their doors for Form Five and Form Six students, who would be sitting for their 2020 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) and equivalent examinations.

During the visit at SMK Putrajaya Presint 8 (1), which has 163 Form Five students, teachers were clearly seen carrying out body temperature checks on students even before they got out of their parent’s car to ensure only healthy ones were allowed to enter the school premises, while those who are symptomatic were told to go home.

Students coming by bus were required to walk about 50m from the bus stop to the foyer for the temperature screening and if their temperature were slightly above 37.5 Celcius, they were quickly taken to an isolation room until their parents or guardian came to take them home.

Students are also required to sanitise their hands before entering their respective classrooms and begin the learning session.

The reopening of schools ran smoothly today in full compliance with the RMCO SOP and in line with the new normal in the teaching and learning (PdP) process.

After almost three months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2,440 secondary schools across the country finally reopened their doors to enable 500,444 students get back on track and catch up on their studies.

Checks on a number of schools nationwide found that as early as 7am, many teachers wearing face masks and even face shield have been waiting outside the school gate, armed with infrared thermometer guns, to check students’ body temperature before allowing them in.

At the same time, incoming students were also seen wearing face masks and observing social distancing.

In SELANGOR, most corridors at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Gombak Setia were found to have been marked with stickers to ensure social distancing both for the students and the teachers.

Recess time for the fifth formers and the upper sixth formers was also divided into three sessions to avoid congestion at the canteen.

Despite mixed feelings among parents, students and teachers, the reopening of the schools overall ran smoothly, with the Covid-19 situation being well under control, .

For this same reason, the Ministry of Education has also decided not to postpone the reopening of all public and private preschools and kindergartens which is scheduled for July 1.

Schools which record Covid-19 positive cases among students, teachers and staff can be ordered to close, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said the move was part of the SOPs set by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to prevent further infection of the virus in the community.

“If there is a positive case, the individual involved will be sent to the hospital for treatment and close contacts will be screened either at school or at home. I believe if it happens, the school will be temporarily closed.”

Noor Azmi said MoH would review SOPs practised during the first three days of school reopening. “On Saturday and Sunday we will look at the SOPs as well as on things that need to be improved. If everything goes well, the ministry will decide on the possibility of other students returning to school.”

– Bernama