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Children back in school nationwide

HealthCOVID-19Children back in school nationwide

Attendance at all kindergartens is capped at 30% and one must perform weekly antigen rapid tests.

Welcoming Kindergarten children to school has now set a different impression for teachers who are worried about the spread of the Covid-19, knowing the children have not yet been vaccinated, yet at the same time excited to see them.

The unforeseen announcement of the school reopening had taken teachers aback in terms of classroom preparation, teaching materials for physical classes, and safety matters that are crucial in welcoming the students.

Speaking to the Academic Deputy Principal (Preschool Section) of Seri Mulia Sarjana School (SMSS) Cecilia Tuazon Landingin, the short preparation for the reopening was intense, yet the school was able to provide the essentials and strategies in just a few days.

As per the requirement provided by the Ministry of Education of allowing only 30% capacity, she commented, “Selecting students are in a first come first serve basis based on the parent’s request and the school prioritised students with more siblings doing HBL and working parents.”

With a set capacity, the school can cater to six Kindergarten 1 students and eight students for Kindergarten 2 in each class.

Highlighting the challenges, she said, “With the current setup we are all in, we in the academic team are on our best to accommodate blended teaching and learning that require a greater amount of effort.”

“We are hopeful that we will be able to meet halfway with our parents’ work schedule for the success and smooth assignment of our Virtual Classes and at the same time preparations for face-to-face (F2F) that happens simultaneously each day,” she added.

In ensuring the safety of the students, stricter procedures are implemented by the school, including strict check-up on health screening before entering the school premises, social distancing properly adheres, limiting numbers of teachers attending the school, and at the same time, following the SOPs provided by the government.

“All assured, our top priority remains the safety of our children and their optimal learning experience,” she said.

A class teacher who shared the challenges prior to the sudden school reopening, the SMSS Kindergarten 1 Academic Supervisor Arlene Adolfo-Toquero said, “It was a challenge for us because most of the teachers have been focusing on HBL preparation, our classroom was halfway undone, but then we managed to finish it in time.”

To meet the requirement of both F2F and HBL students, virtual classes have to be rescheduled after the physical classes.

“There is two preparation for us, aside from preparing for the F2F, we are still ongoing with the preparation for the virtual classes. We have to ensure they get a similar quality amount of education, and we should not neglect them,” she added.

A similar sentiment was also shared by the Kindergarten 2 Class Teacher Rezah Hashim who agreed that dividing the lessons both F2F and HBL is quite challenging.

As parents are also concerned about the safety of their children, she underlined, “We have prepared all the safety procedures including hygiene guidelines for the students, and daily sanitising the classes before and after the period.”

Chung Hua Middle School welcomes pre-schoolers

Students are required to sanitise their hands and check for body temperature upon entry. (Photo: Dhabit Firdaus/The Brunei Post)

Chung Hua Middle School (CHMS) in Kuala Belait got off to a strong start with the return of their Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2 students yesterday.

With strict Covid preventive measures and standard operating procedures (SOPs) following the guidelines for reopening issued by the Ministry of Health, parents are confident to send their kids back to schools with guaranteed safety.

14 students attended Kindergarten 1, and 36 others attended KG2 during school reopening on Monday. Students who did not attend their in-person classes will resume their learning at home online.

“Students are required to do antigen rapid test once a week while maintaining a social distancing in classes and the school compound,” said Dr Chong Kui Kian, the Principal of CHMS.

The school will provide parents with a saliva-based antigen rapid test kit for their children. (Photo: Dhabit Firdaus/The Brunei Post)

“In order for children to attend their classes, parents must be fully vaccinated,” she added.

She also underlined that all teaching staff and school members are fully vaccinated and undergo ART tests every Monday with results sent to the Ministry of Education for reporting purposes.

Parents who are sending their children to school are required to scan their BruHealth QR code upon entering the school compound, check for body temperature and sanitise their hands.

Teachers are to ensure children maintain social distancing in the classroom at all times, in addition to hand sanitising and regular hand washing after each activity. (Photo: Dhabit Firdaus/The Brunei Post)

Dayang Ummi Syafiqah, a mother whose son goes to Kindergarten 2 at the CHMS, said that she’s satisfied with the school’s strict adherence to SOPs and their commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children in school.

“I am happy to see the school (CHMS) are doing all the temperature checks, ART tests and providing hand-sanitisers for the children before entering their classes. This boosts my confidence as a parent, knowing that my son is safe.”

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