JOHOR BARU: Fifth former Muhd Azin Zulkeflee was one happy teenager as he entered his school for the first time in more than a year following the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order.
The SMK Sultan Ismail (SSI) student said he was glad that the government allowed students to go back to the classroom despite the threat of Covid-19.
“This year is important for me as I will be preparing for my SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examinations. The main difference between learning through our laptops in the comfort of our own homes and in our classrooms is the direct communication that we can have with our teachers, ” said Muhd Azin, 17, who is among the 998 SSI students who returned to school yesterday.
Another Form Five student Sohaib Hakimi, said that his studies were interrupted last year due to the pandemic.
“It is just great to be back in school and able to meet with my schoolmates, whom I have not seen for a year.
“It will be very disheartening if the Covid-19 pandemic forces another school closure because we will have to go online for our education, ” he added.
The 17-year-old said his parents always reminded him to bring a face mask and hand sanitiser to school as a precautionary measure.
Form One student Abriham Baburaj, 13, said he was looking forward to going to his new school and making new friends.
“Last year, before the pandemic hit, I was still in primary school, but now I am in one of the top secondary schools in the state.
“Learning with my friends is much more exciting and better than watching through a computer, which strained my eyes, ” he added.
Johor Parents, Community and Private Mobilisation Group chairman Datuk Yahya Jaafar said schools in the state have taken the necessary steps to welcome the students safely.
“The schools are following the standard operating procedure by taking temperatures and making students clean their hands using hand sanitisers the moment they enter the school compound, ” he added.
Yahya also reminded parents to always be vigilant with their health since most Covid-19 cases came from workplaces, and to take preventive measures to prevent their children from being infected.
The Education Ministry has allowed students to return to their schools in stages since March 1 beginning with preschoolers and Year One and Year Two pupils, with Years Three to Six pupils returning from March 8 onwards.
Starting yesterday, secondary school students in Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan and Kedah made their return as these states have their weekends on Fridays and Saturdays. The remaining states will start today.