CYBERJAYA: A group representing private and international schools has applied to the government for their school governing boards to be granted autonomy in deciding on the operations of their respective schools during the pandemic.
The group’s spokesman, Mohd Fadzil Hashim, said that the application for autonomy was hoped to be considered for private and international schools as well as pondok and tahfiz schools with physical and infrastructure capabilities.
“The ratio between students and teachers is smaller compared with public schools. Hence, we have the ability to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said in a press conference here attended by group coordinator Zaliza Alias and Ikram Musleh executive director Megat Mohamed Amin.
Fadzil said the group would comply with all instructions of the health ministry if instructed to close the school.
“We ask to be granted this autonomy only during the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) or conditional MCO. If the area is subject to enhanced MCO (EMCO) then we all understand that the school will be closed automatically.
“We request the National Security Council to advise the education ministry to grant autonomy to private schools that have sufficient facilities and comply with the SOPs as best as possible,” he said.
Zaliza said prolonged school closures would cause concerns if students start to lose interest in learning.
“If a student is slow to learn, it doesn’t matter, but the worry is that they are starting to lose interest in learning. Besides that, parents are also worried that their children will not be able to pursue learning sessions through home-based teaching and learning (PdPR),” she said.
She said the sustainability and survival of private schools was also threatened because there were parents who did not pay school tuition fees because students were not attending school.