Corporate Communication Division, Ministry of Education
Belait Sixth Form Centre (PTEB), once set up as one of the COVID-19 isolation centres, has undergone cleaning and disinfection and will be ready to resume its school operations today. All teachers and students will return to continue their face-to-face teaching and learning activities at the school.
From August 2021 to April 2022, PTEB, formerly named as COVID-19 Holding Area Belait (CHABEL6), functioned as an accommodation facility for COVID-19 patients, making it one of the high-footfall places with many touchpoints. Therefore, it was important for proper infection control and cleaning measures to be adopted at the school premises and its environment. This was to ensure PTEB and its environment are clean, safe and conducive to face-to-face learning.
INFECTION CONTROL AND CLEANING MEASURES
Initially, joint cleaning efforts were implemented at the school in cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Development (MoD) through the Public Works Department (JKR), Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) and volunteers.
PTEB Principal Chin Ai Fong said, “Since April, cleaning has been done thoroughly to prepare for the return of our sixth form students. Thanks to the help and support from our Cluster 6 teachers and Department of Schools, we managed to get the labour force to help with the cleaning and sanitising of the school.”
Chin added, “The MoH also assisted us in coordinating with relevant agencies in the demobilisation of CHABEL 6. For instance, the JKR in the removal of structures and RBN in cleaning, keeping school properties safe as well as removal of furniture used in CHABEL 6.”
In an effort to show PTEB’s full commitment to protect all members of the school community from COVID-19, infection control and cleaning measures were also conducted by professional cleaning providers. This was also to obtain the Certificate of Clearance, proving the school premises and its environment are safe.
Emphasising the certificate’s importance was Acting Head of Health and Safety Environment at the Department of Administration and Services, Ministry of Education (MoE) Haji Siasa bin Tambah.
“Obtaining the Certificate of Clearance will further reassure members of the school community as well as parents and give them confidence that the school is secure,” said haji Siasa.
“Among the requirements to earn the certificate include Fire Safety Order 2016 compliance, good housekeeping, safe and efficient drop-off and pick-up areas, COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) compliance, complete preparations for isolation rooms and sick bays, and clean school premises as well as its environment,” he added.
PEACE OF MIND AND COMFORT
All teachers, students and members of the school community, who were temporarily relocated at Sayyidina Ali Secondary School, as well as parents, can now breathe a sigh of relief as they can go back to an institution they identify with.
Expressing her excitement, Siti Khadizah binti Roslan of PTEB said, “I am grateful to return back to PTEB. I hope, with the cleaning efforts, tutors and students will be further motivated to resume face-to-face teaching and learning at the school.”
Looking forward to sending his daughter to PTEB was a parent, Theventharan Krishnan, who said, “I believe the school’s effort to prepare for the returning students is commendable. A clean environment is one of the basic prerequisites of our life and providing such an environment to our children is definitely imperative not only for studies but as a part of healthy culture and lifestyle. They will learn these life skills better if the primary areas of their life such as home, school and other important public areas are good models for them to emulate.”
Meanwhile, upper sixth student Chang Jing Yee said, “The cleaning and disinfecting processes certainly give us students, and our parents a peace of mind. Moreover, my batchmates and I look forward to having our own lounging area as it gives us feasible and comfortable space to do personal study sessions.”
Another student, Raynold anak Ramy, expressed happiness for being able to return to PTEB for physical learning.
“With a clean environment at school, students can focus better on their studies. It will also prevent us from getting sick and protect us from diseases such as flu,” he said.
In ensuring an absolute protection of the school population, it is essential for all students and staff to be socially responsible and adhere to the existing COVID-19 guidelines and SOPs.
Raynold also said, “We should wear face masks at all times. If possible, bring extra face masks to school. We should also avoid sharing food and drinks, bring hand sanitisers and always social distance.
“Students must not come to school if they are unwell and inform their teachers about their well-being.”
He added, “Our BruHealth app must be kept up-to-date as well.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to the importance of cleaning and disinfecting as well as the essential roles of people in schools, institutions or organisations alike. As an educational institution, PTEB is critical of its safety reputation. Hence, with the cleaning initiatives by various parties, the school gives assurance that the safety of its students and staff is paramount.