Monday, August 3, 2009

H1N1: Advice on school trial exams

Ranau: Schools in Sabah have been advised to reschedule their Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) trial examinations due to the pandemic Influenza A(H1N1) which has forced the temporary closure of 20 schools in the State so far.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, who is also the State Executive Councillor for Education, said Saturday that though he had no authority to instruct schools to stop going ahead with the examinations, it was advisable that the schools as well as parents, through the parent-teacher association, act on finding ways to resolve the matter.

"They (schools) are not in the position to put the children under unnecessary risk in schools, even if it is for examinations. They are not even government examinations. Even the Government changes the examination dates on certain occasions.

"But I can understand and appreciate that a number of very hardworking schools want to get things done as soon as possible. I'm sure there are enough school days for them to rearrange the examination period," he said after the opening of the Ranau Umno Division delegates meeting, here.

Masidi also reiterated his suggestion on Wednesday of closing all schools, especially in high-risk towns like Kota Kinabalu, in order to determine the number of infected students.

He said the virus would incubate in a human body for four days and the closing of schools for a week was enough time for the schools and the health department to ascertain which students should be separated from the rest to avoid further spread.

"I think this is the only way to go right now because there is no effective medicine to cure this virus.

"At least we can reduce the potential risk of the spread of the virus in the schools," he added.

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