Campuses to reopen in stages starting end-February

PETALING JAYA: Higher education students can expect to return to their campuses in stages from the middle of February, says the Higher Education Ministry.

This comes after the Emergency proclamation and reinstated movement control order in several states as well as Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

Students will be notified of the dates via a letter from their higher education institutions (HEIs), the ministry said in a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding operations in HEIs this period.

Face-to-face teaching and learning can resume from March onwards while adhering to standard operating procedure, it added in the FAQ dated Jan 16.

The FAQ can be found on the ministry’s social media channels.

However, HEIs in MCO and conditional MCO areas must continue online lessons until the end of the period, it said.

“Students who are already on campus must remain there (during the MCO), ” it added.

The ministry also said that all student activities in public universities including clubs, societies and co-curricular activities could not be conducted, with the exception of those located in recovery MCO areas, which could go on following SOP.

Foreign students who had completed their mandatory quarantine at designated quarantine centres and were required to travel inter-district or interstate to their campuses only needed to show their release order (issued after completing quarantine) to the officers at roadblocks, it said.

As for those who wish to leave the country or travel inter-district or interstate to return to their home, they will need to obtain a permission letter from any district police headquarters or police station.

It also said the HEIs would assist these students to obtain the letter, and added that only foreign students were allowed back to the country for the time being.

“Those with dependent passes are still not allowed to enter Malaysia, ” it said.

Separately, the Education Ministry announced that all education institutions nationwide under its purview would continue to conduct home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) when schools reopen on Wednesday.

This comes just days after Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said this would only affect states under the MCO.

Only students sitting for the 2020 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, Sijil Vokasional Malaysia, Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia and Diploma Vokasional Malaysia as well as other international level exams certified by the ministry were allowed to return to school for face-to-face learning, it said in a statement on Jan 16.

The decision was made after discussions with the Health Ministry and the National Security Council as the number of new Covid-19 cases in the country reached an all-time high of 4,029 on Saturday, it added.

“All primary school pupils and Form One to Form Five students from the 2021 batch will undergo PdPR according to the suitability between teachers and students beginning Jan 20, ” it said.

The ministry said students who had registered for full-time boarding schools in Form Four and Form Five could remain in their hostels and follow their lessons online or return home and continue with the PdPR.

The guidelines allow parents and guardians are allowed to pick up their children at any given time.

Last year’s Form Five and Form Six students can attend classes until their examinations are over.

“Teachers who are involved with exam year classes need to be present in schools to start physical classes. Other teachers conducting PdPR or attending schools can do so based on the needs set by their respective head of departments, ” said the ministry.

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