Reopening of Schools: A Half-Calculated Risk.
Written by- Mariam Sadaf Imam
The Ministry of Education recently released their plans to reopen primary and secondary schools nationwide on October 3, 2021, in order to avoid further loss of learning, mental distress, and hindrances in the growth and development of students’ social skills. The reaction to the announcement has been lukewarm at best, despite the constant reassurances from officials regarding the safety of the returning students.
The reopening plans are set to follow the phases of the National Recovery Plan and educationists have voiced their displeasure on the matter. They believe that the reopening of primary and secondary schools should be done in adherence to SOPs, and strategic mitigations in order to minimize the threat of Covid-19 transmission.
While the Education ministry has been praised for its efforts and for having a clearer plan for the reopening of schools this time around, the plans are not without their drawbacks. The plans consist of multiple exceptions and conditions. This might be confusing for the parents, teachers, and education administrators alike. This confusion could lead to disorder and chaos which could lead to loss of time and wastage of efforts.
“Under the circumstances, I must say MOE has been doing well so far, much better and organised than 2020's haphazard reopening of school.”
Myocho Kan, founder of myKITA, expressed his admiration for the ministry’s improved efforts.
When asked to elaborate on his statement, Myocho Kan’s words were invigorated and ripe with excitement at the prospect of improvement.
“In general, this re-opening has been more organized and better managed than the 2020 reopening of schools, but there are plenty of things that need to be cleared out.”
Myocho Kan went on to explain in great detail about some of the things that needed further clarification and attention. The first one being teachers and the fact that they will have to wear multiple hats. He elucidated how teachers would not only be teaching, but will also have to manage crowd control. Given the new policy of 50:50 rotation in terms of virtual and in person learning, teachers will have to keep track of the students rotating and ensure that the ministry’s guidelines are strictly followed.
Myocho Kan’s next statement was one that may seem controversial in the beginning, but his explanation definitely cleared the air.
“Covid-19 is a blessing in disguise, if you want to look at it that way. Malaysians have always adored the Finnish education system. Malaysia could follow in Finland’s footsteps and introduce hybrid learning. This could lead to reduced schooling hours.”
He also enunciated on how this was the perfect opportunity to enhance and maintain the ‘One student, one laptop’ agenda, an idea that has existed since the 90s and has seen billions of ringgits being invested into it with little to no advancement to show for it. While Myocho Kan, and other good samaritans, have been doing their part by providing refurbished devices to students free of cost, their efforts are not sustainable since there is only so much that private citizens can do.
Myocho Kan’s third and final suggestion was more geared towards teachers and their computer skills.
“At the beginning of the pandemic last year, many teachers did not know how to use powerpoint and struggled to use the platform for virtual teaching.”
In his opinion, teachers must master and strengthen their IT literacy skills. This would help them with teaching and also allow them to grow as an individual.
While Myocho Kan does still believe that there are mountains to be moved and treacherous waters to be waded when it comes to fixing the state of education of Malaysia, he has been vocal about his praise for the ministry’s unrelenting attempts to smoothly integrate the necessary changes to prevent education related obstacles. He still maintains that the incompetent leaders who helmed the Ministry of Education have caused substantial damage to the nation’s education system and that these politicians need to be replaced by professionals.
“We really need the Professionals to helm MOE and not politicians.”
This statement from Myocho Kan best summarizes the current education system’s state in Malaysia. This is where myKITA aims to make a difference. Due to it being ingrained in the notion of a genuine Third Force, myKITA does not focus on the policymaker’s political affiliation, but rather on how the policy can enhance and further the betterment of the country. myKITA is driven by integrity and professional governance in hopes of achieving advancement. The motto “Bridging Aspirations, Building Nation” and “Malaysia Empowered” best encapsulate the very essence of the organization. myKITA does not believe in electing politicians who have ulterior motives as their primary objective and country’s well-being as their secondary one pursuit. Instead, the organization myKITA believes in the need to start electing professionals with proven success and achievements in their respective industries and areas of expertise. who’ve entered politics not for personal gain, but to serve their country and serve her well.