‘State govt to adhere fully to ministry’s directive on nationwide school closure’


Dr Annuar speaks to reporters at the PBB headquarters in Petra Jaya .

KUCHING: The Sarawak government would adhere to the directive from the federal Ministry of Education, which has ordered for closure of schools nationwide until the last day of the school session for this year, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“We will follow whatever directive from the Ministry of Education with regard to the closing of schools (nationwide), as they (ministry) know best what is happening on the ground and the danger posed by Covid-19,” he said during a press conference after chairing a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council meeting at the party’s headquarters in Petra Jaya here yesterday.

Abang Johari, who is the president of PBB – one of the four component parties forming the state’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) – also said he would leave it to the ministry to come up with alternative learning methods for the school-children, especially those in the rural areas.

“They (ministry) would have the required expertise in the field,” he added.

Speaking to reporters after the press conference, Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee said certain procedures would need to be adhered to following the closure of schools, so as to ensure that the schoolchildren’s learning process would not be adversely affected.

“Those with strong Internet coverage can continue with online learning, but for those who do not have it, there should be some form of engagements between the teachers and the students, either via WhatsApp, SMS (text messaging) or other means,” said Dr Annuar, acknowledging that many parent-teacher associations (PTAs) had been actively studying the challenges faced by the students in remote-learning.

The assistant minister also said in some rural areas, even the village security and development committees (JKKK) had been roped in to assist the teachers in distributing schoolwork and learning materials to the students at home.

In announcing the closure of schools nationwide yesterday, Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said all schools and vocational colleges under his ministry, including those in Sarawak, would remain closed to the last day of their 2020 calendar year as part of the efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.