Keep SOPs in mind

Azlan Othman

Schools are making preparations to welcome back students aged five to 11 after a nine-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools have distributed memos reminding parents and guardians of standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as antigen rapid test (ART) screenings.

The parents were told to conduct ART screenings three times a week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and to forward the results to class teachers via WhatsApp or filling an e-form.

They were also told to pick up the children on time to minimise gathering among the students after school.

The parents were also informed that temperature checks and hand sanitisers will be provided while the students are urged to wear face masks.

Children feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough should not attend school. The students are told to not share food while religious school pupils should bring their own prayer mats.

A child tests for COVID-19, a day before school starts. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

A private school’s memo also outlined that parents are not allowed in school premises and they should drop off and pick up children at designated drive-through zones.

A child looking forward to attending physical classes is kindergarten pupil Aidi Rahim. His parent, Rahim, said, “I have mixed feelings mostly because of anxieties regarding the pupils’ interaction due to the long absence and some health and safety concerns. However, I am confident with the SOPs in place including ART screenings before heading to school.”

Another parent, Lina, said she had made preparations by buying new stationeries and getting her child used to waking up early for school.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar in a press conference on Thursday called on parents of five to 11-year-olds to get their children vaccinated. He said the vaccine has proven its effectiveness in protecting against severe side effects of COVID-19 including multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) which adds complications to a child’s recovery.