General

Set up school-level Covid-19 management committee with decision-making power

Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam

18 FEBRUARY 2022 | KUALA LUMPUR

With the rise in COVID-19 clusters in schools as reported by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, I urge the Education Ministry together with the Health Ministry to set up Covid-19 management committee in each school comprising representatives from the district health office, school administration, parents-teachers association, and if applicable, school board of directors.

Such committees should be empowered to make localised decisions in regards to Covid-19 management in their respective school, for example, the localised SOP, school sanitisation, decisions for the suspension of classes, closure of school etc., without having to wait for the health department. This not only cuts off bureaucratic delays in the making of such crucial decisions but also empowers local stakeholders to take charge of their own schools and communities. The move will also free up resources in the health department which are already long over-burdened with Covid-19 and other works.

These school Covid-19 management committees can also be mobilised to assist the two Ministries to disseminate Covid-19 related information, including children vaccination. With the low vaccination rate reported in certain schools and communities, the government should work closely with local community influencers not only to provide correct information on children vaccination but also to build the trust vital to increasing confidence of the community towards government’s Covid-19 programmes.

The call for the set up of a school level Covid-19 management committee is not new and has been repeatedly proposed by me and my colleagues in the Pakatan Harapan Education Committee. This should form part of the policy to live with Covid-19.

Steven Sim Chee Keong
Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam
Penang State-Federal Coordinator for Covid-19 Management

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