KUALA LUMPUR – The increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia this month has caused the community to be alarmed, raising the question of safety among high-risk groups particularly school children.
At press time, it was reported that more than a million students in 1,754 schools in the affected states have not been able to attend school following the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The question remains whether the government should temporarily suspend school sessions nationwide until the end of the year for students who are not taking public examinations as a preventive measure.
Based on a survey conducted via the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) official social media accounts from Oct 6 until Oct 11, a majority of respondents particularly parents voted for the temporary suspension of all school activities until the COVID-19 situation improves.
On Twitter, 83.5 per cent of the 4,592 respondents agreed with the notion, 9.3 per cent thought otherwise, while the rest was unsure.
On its Instagram account @bernamaofficial, a total of 3,063 respondents had taken the survey and of that total 87 per cent or 2,665 respondents agreed that school sessions should be suspended and only 13 per cent disagreed.
Meanwhile, the comment section of the agency’s official Facebook page was flooded with the views of more than 300 netizens expressing their thoughts on the matter.
A Facebook user, Norlizan Ghazali said she would ask the class teacher through a letter to excuse her child if she thinks her child is unwell or if any of her child’s classmates were sick.
“Prevention lies with us,” she wrote.
Harvind77901533 tweeted that school sessions should be temporarily suspended for students of all levels including those who are taking public examinations.
“Primary school pupils should be excused (from attending school)…as well as Form 1 and 2 students,” he added.
Some also raised the question of childcare as parents have to go out to work.
“If (the school session is) suspended, pity the children. If they go to school, it is risky,” said Twitter user @syazulaikha, expressing her dilemma.