Schools to reopen in three weeks

KUALA LUMPUR – All educational institutions under the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be opened on Jan 20 according to the scheduled academic calendar, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

For private and international educational institutions registered with the MOE, it is subject to their respective academic calendar in addition to following the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council (MKN).

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The prime minister said for students of institutions of higher learning (IPT) in the peninsula, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) allows local students to return to campus in phases as early as March 1.

“For IPT in Sabah and Sarawak, student admission is subject to the procedures adopted by the respective state governments,” he said when delivering his New Year message for 2021 aired on television channels tonight.

Based on the previously announced School Term and School Holiday Calendar 2021, the start of the face-to-face school sessions on that date involves primary and secondary school students (Form 1, Form 4, Form 5 and Form 6) as well as all Vocational College students.

Form 2 and Form 3 students will start school sessions on the same date through home-based learning and return to school for face-to-face learning sessions on March 8, 2021.

Five main priorities

Muhyiddin also announced the government’s five main priorities in its integrated post-COVID-19 national recovery strategy for 2021.

He said the first priority was to improve the public health level through the procurement of sufficient COVID-19 vaccines and launch vaccination programmes throughout the country.

“Second, to strengthen the people-centric economy and drive the country’s economic growth post-COVID-19 through the implementation of the 2021 Budget and the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

“Thirdly to ensure political and government stability, including good governance, as the basis for sustainable economic recovery, and fourthly, to ensure the country’s sovereignty is preserved and strengthen Malaysia’s position on the global front,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the fifth priority was to strengthen the relationship among the races and religions in country, to form a society united against all threats.

The Prime Minister said the government would strive to improve the public health level in the country based on the principle of ‘prevention is better than cure’.

He said early prevention was important, stressing that the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government must continue to be complied with, in accordance with the enforced Movement Control Order (MCO).

Largest budget

Touching on the second priority, Muhyiddin Budget 2021, which was tabled and approved in Parliament with an allocation of RM322.5 billion – the biggest in the country’s history – is crucial to restoring the country’s economy and the well-being of the people

“It’s aimed at ensuring the interests of those who are vulnerable, including the B40, the elderly and the disabled, are always protected.

He added that a comprehensive strategy under 12th Malaysia Plan will be announced early in 2021 recover and revitalise the country’s economy.

Speaking on the third priority, Muhyiddin said the country’s political situation throughout the year had been challenging, which affected investor confidence in the process, and therefore, mutual understanding among members of the Perikatan Nasional government would be continued to be sown and nurtured, while differences would be managed carefully.

“It is also hoped that political leaders can demonstrate a sense of responsibility, and not take any action that could disrupt the country’s political stability,” he said, adding that the government would continue to work to fight corruption and uphold the values ​​of transparency and integrity.

“I believe that political stability and good governance can create a conducive investment ecosystem to ensure that Malaysia remains a major investment destination in the Southeast Asian region, and further accelerate the country’s economic recovery process,” he said.

Secure nation

On the fourth priority, Muhyiddin said the government would ensure that the interests of the country and its people remained secure – both physically and virtually – under the watchful eyes of national security agencies.

“Control over the country’s borders and entrances will continue to be tightened, while any intrusion or smuggling activities will not be spared. The government does not compromise on national sovereignty. Online crimes such as scammers are becoming more prevalent and will be monitored, ”he said.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed ‘the global order’, Muhyiddin said next year, Malaysia would play a more active role on the global stage, opening up opportunities for the country to highlight a more dynamic leadership.

He said it was time Malaysia emerged as a respected power, daring to fight for common prosperity and universal peace on a consistent basis.

On the fifth priority, Muhyiddin said the government would not hesitate to take action against anyone who disobeyed and continued to sow hatred among the races and religions in the country, let alone insult the institution of the Constitutional Monarch.

He added that the five priorities were in line with the government’s long-term vision for the country embodied in the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (WKB 2030).