Jointly reported by:
Tee Jia Xien Sr2B 16332
Lee Ai Lin Sr2ScC 16642
Ng Choon Hau Sr2A 16066

As Malaysia has entered the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), additional restrictions have been lifted. The Education Minister announced the reopening of schools nationwide for students taking public examinations as well as equivalent international examinations this year, to be on Wednesday, 24th of June 2020. Our school decided to implement a distinct learning style, blended learning for Senior 2 and 3 students. Blended Learning comprises both online learning and physical tutorials for better prevention against the spread of the coronavirus. As scheduled, Senior 3 students will return to school on Mondays and Tuesdays; while Wednesdays and Thursdays are for Senior 2 students.

On 24 June 2020 itself, Senior 2 students were the first to resume physical learning classes. Teachers and staff members arrived early to make all the necessary preparations, such as setting up the tablet thermometers. As soon as students arrived at school, teachers on duty guided them to register themselves via the MySejahtera mobile application while reminding them to maintain social distancing for safety of one metre. Following this, body temperature of all students was taken at the school hall using tablet thermometers.

rsz_21 rsz_22

Students and teachers alike getting temperature checks in the hall first thing in the morning

Our School did early preparations and took necessary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. On the floor of the hallways, masking or barricade tapes were arranged in the shape of an arrow to remind students to keep to the left while walking in a single file. Simultaneously, tapes were also attached on the floor with a one metre distance between each other at the clocking in machine areas, canteen, and school hall to remind all students to follow the rules while lining up.

Each class has also been split into two, with varying time-tables for each class. For students and teachers alike, there was a sense of familiarity back in the classroom; yet also a strange atmosphere due to the eerie emptiness and dreariness of school compounds. Social distancing had to be maintained in classrooms as well, adding to that sense of strange familiarity.

New norms were introduced with the reopening of school. Canteen stalls were mostly closed, and lunches had to be pre-ordered and delivered directly to classrooms. Furthermore, the time for the second recess had been extended to 75 minutes from the usual 40, during which students are required to make their way to the school hall for a second body temperature check. Despite all this, the lively studying atmosphere never ceased, with some teachers even employing these new norms for the students’ amusement by introducing Kahoot quizzes in tutorial classes.

rsz_113Students making their way to the hall for a second body temperature update

rsz_14A teacher hosting a Kahoot game in class

rsz_25Students lining up to collect the pre-ordered food

We interviewed some Senior 2 students to give their thoughts about returning to school.

Tan Ming Hui Sr2B:

Finally, it’s time to get back to School! This probably means we are gradually resuming our usual school life. Getting back to school is better than learning at home; at least for the teachers, who are able to solve a student’s problem more efficiently and interact with them better compared to using the computer. The school’s preventive measures were carried out for the sake of teachers, students, and all the supporting staff; they had put a lot of effort into reducing the risk of viral infection. For instance, implementing body temperature measurement twice a day allows people with hyperthermia to be detected as soon as possible. I really appreciate the school’s careful thought and direct concern for the health of all students and teachers.

Lee Ai Lin Sr2ScC:

I am glad to meet my dearest teachers and classmates, however, I feel slightly nervous and worried about the probability of the virus spreading in school. Studying at school sure is great, as there is no need to be concerned about the disturbance of network speed. The school had put great effort into the preventive measures against the pandemic, though I am still unaccustomed to social distancing. By the way, I am not satisfied for not allowing us to use the elevator. (Climbing six flights of stairs isn’t that easy for me)

Wendy Foo Sr2B:

It feels a little tiring returning to school since I have to wake up early! I take public transport to go to and return from school, which exposes me to outdoors and increases the risk of infection. This is what I’ve been worried about the most. School classes help me stay more focused on the lesson, as face-to-face communication between teachers and classmates leads to a better absorbing of knowledge. Besides, going back to school allows us to reunite with friends and chat with each other.

In short, some students prefer online classes via Zoom video meeting platform, rather than learning at school.  Despite that, most students really missed their school life and had been looking forward to returning to school with friends. It allows one to be more disciplined and more efficient in studying. Plus, students could pay full attention to their teachers and not getting distracted while studying, from such as the mobile phone.

What most students were generally not ready for was about the social distancing; the SOP in place and must be fully implemented. Social distancing will become part of the students’ culture. There are now top three things for all to maintain daily when ushering in the New Normal life including wearing the face masks, washing hands more often as well as practicing social distancing. Overall, on this very first reopening day, students respected and obeyed most of the rules, playing their role in supporting the School management in keeping a safe and healthy environment as well as preventing further transmission of the virus.