We've all heard about COVID-19 clusters in schools, but most of us don't know how bad the situation is.
A recent announcement by the Selangor Education Department is a clear indication that things are quite concerning and it is not getting any better.
According to a report by The Star
, 79 schools in Selangor have been instructed to close for two days due to COVID-19 cases.
A total of 18 schools in the Petaling Perdana district, 19 schools in the Hulu Langat district, 9 schools in the Gombak district, 9 schools in the Petaling Utama district, 15 schools in the Klang district, 2 schools in the Sepang district, 5 schools in the Hulu Selangor district and two schools in the Kuala Langat district have been directed to close from 26 April to 27 April.
Additionally 20 schools have been directed to close in Penang and another 4 schools told to close in Negri Sembilan.
Everyone is a little concerned by the whole situation.
"Online learning was settling in and there the schools were reopened. Can we complete one task before venturing into another please," posted anthonyedwin76
"Why closing for 2 days only??? Education Ministry please wake up and close all the schools for time being. Let us all put effort to bring down the cases," said renuuma1905
Another Instagram user lynnadrian36
commented, "Should just close the school until case is at 2 digits.very dangerous..parents dun feel confident sending their kids to school...pls do something about it before it's too late."
Numbers going up and up and up
In a press conference conducted today (26 April), Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba revealed figures that showed a clear increase in infection rates among students.
He said that for the whole of last year, there were 8,369 COVID-19 cases detected among those aged 12 and below.
This year, the number for the first four months alone has reached 23,779 for the same age group.
During the press conference, he also urged students with COVID-19 symtoms or whose family members who have symptoms to refrain from going to school.
"We have explained to all schools that any students who show any symptoms do not need to go to school or educational institutions."
"This includes symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, loss of taste and smell."
"If their parents or family members living with them have these symptoms, these students should not go to school either," he said as reported by The Star
But how much of school can a student miss? How truthful or attentive are family members when it comes to symptom detection?
What if the child is asymptomatic? How transparent are schools about new cases?
How are we all going to move on while still caring for the safety and wellbeing of our young ones?
These are important questions and issues that must be addressed by the ministry.
In a report by Malay Mail
, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun recently called for parents to not worry and assured that the government had its "own way" of addressing COVID-19 clusters in the education sector.
She didn't elaborate but honestly, the government's way (if they even have a way) seems to be going south.
The reality is that the pandemic is not going to go away anytime soon. The most sensible thing to do is to have a plan B, C and D when it comes to our children.
We need to do better and we need to do it fast.