KOTA TINGGI – The Education Ministry (KPM) has instructed all school trips to Singapore and the Philippines to be cancelled in the wake of the spread of the Zika virus in the two countries.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the order was issued during the KPM Professional Meeting on Sept 1 which was effective immediately and to continue until the Health Ministry to provided an update on the situation.
“We have already issued a circular to all departments (in the ministry), district education offices and schools to suspend these visit to those countries due to the virus,” he told reporters when met at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tun Habab here today.
He said the order also carried information of the virus’ effects on children and pregnant women.
Mahdzir said this when commenting on the Selangor State Education Department’s move to stop schools from organising school visits to the countries concerned.
With the school holidays starting today, he said KPM had also directed that schools’ management ensure cleanliness in school compounds to prevent them from becoming Aedes breeding grounds.
Earlier, the minister had opened the Tenggara UMNO Division delegates meeting.
Also present were Tenggara UMNO division chief Datuk Dr Adham Baba, who is also Pasir Raja assemblyman and Tenggara Member of Parliament Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, who is also Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government.
Meanwhile, Mahadzir also said his ministry will look into the proposal by Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to establish ‘Bangsa Johor’ schools.
He said currently under the Education Act 1961, there were seven categories of schools.
They are national schools, vernacular schools, national-type schools, secondary religious schools, missionary schools, private schools and international schools.
The minister said if the “Bangsa Johor” schools were to be established, it needed to be studied in which category the school belongs to.
Recently, Tunku Ismail in a statement posted on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, stated the need to close down vernacular schools in the state and be replaced by the “Bangsa Johor” schools to promote national unity. – BERNAMA