• Wartawan Nabalu News


7 JAN 2021

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: Students are excited that school will finally reopen in less than two weeks, but with Covid-19 situation in the country not seeing any improvement, many parents prefer to not send their kids back to school.

Covid-19 is no small matter, Valentine Louis said, and letting her 12-year-old daughter, Chloe Calista, to go back to school means letting her out in the open, thus exposing her to a possibility of Covid-19 transmission.

"There is no way I am risking my daughter's health for this, not when the cases continue to soar day by day.

"I know we have standard operating procedures (SOP) but I think it will be difficult and confusing for kids to fully comply with everything," he told Nabalu News here, today.

Valentine (right) and his daughter, Chloe.

According to Valentine, he has made enough back-to-school preparations such as buying new school bags, stationeries and uniform and not to mention, a face shield, face masks and kid-friendly sanitisers.

"I was optimistic that Sabah would eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel so that kids would be able to go to school at ease, so I made sure to prepare everything for Chloe since it will be her final year in primary school.

"But with this situation, I think schools should just continue to do online classes - that's the best way to curb the spread of Covid-19.

"Yes, it is still very difficult to adapt to this new norm but for now, we have no better choice. At the same time, we cannot neglect our children's education."

The 32-year-old father mentioned that he is thankful for his brother-in-law, a university undergraduate, for being around to help Chloe stays productive as he helps her with her school work.

"I hope and pray that the public strictly adheres to the SOP in order to break the Covid-19 transmission chain so that one day our kids will be able to go to school again."

Just like Valentine, 28-year-old Vivien Thien said she will not send her kid back to school for as long as the Covid-19 cases in Sabah do not deplete.

Vivien and her son, Bryan.

"I am very worried about sending my eight-year-old kid to school. When the school reopens later and the infections in Sabah continue to rise, then I will not send my kid to school at all.

"After all, my husband and I did not buy anything for my son Bryan Lee's school preparation since all of his school items such as stationeries, exercise books and uniform were barely used," she said.

However, Vivien who works as an account clerk said she is displeased of the way her son's school handles the situation during the pandemic.

"I actually don't like it when my kid studies at home because the teachers would only give him some exercises, and then the answers the next day.

"We as the parents are the ones who have to take the role as teachers at home. I don't agree with this method at all, it is not an efficient way for students to learn," she expressed.

She however agrees if the school opts for google or zoom meeting to conduct online classes, but she expressed disappointment that her son's school rarely applies the approach.

"Therefore, I have decided to enrol Bryan in online tuition classes," she disclosed.

Expressing the same concern was Dulina Yumpoh who also happens to be a school teacher.

"We have strict SOPs in schools but sometimes it is hard to monitor a large number of students to ensure they comply with face mask usage and social distancing.

"They may feel uncomfortable using face mask all day long in school and might take it off, and this action may result in Covid-19 contraction," she said.

Dulina, 54, also mentioned that she is concern about the new variant of the illness detected in the country and that it could spread more easily in the school system.

"It was reported last month that a new Covid-19 strain in Malaysia has been identified from samples taken in Sabah and we don't know if this strain is more infectious than usual.

"As a teacher myself, I experience parents' concern over their children's health and a lot of them did not send their kids to school last year so apart from teaching the few kids who actually attended school, I had to prepare different materials that are suitable for virtual learning for my students at home.

"Therefore, as a parent myself, I too am concern of my 12-year-old son's health if he were to go back to school later," she expressed.