Govt to announce date for reopening of universities, colleges

The MoHE announcement will include the SOPs needed to be implemented once the institutions are allowed to reopen

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by BLOOMBERG

THE Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) is expected to announce the reopening of higher learning institutions in the near future.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the National Security Council (NSC) has approved the ministry’s proposal to reopen universities and colleges as the Covid-19 outbreak in the country is under control.

The announcement will include the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that need to be implemented once the institutions are allowed to reopen.

“The special ministerial meeting on implementing the Movement Control Order (MCO) has examined the proposal presented by the MoHE on the reopening of higher learning institutions, as well as the SOPs for the admission of local and international students.

“The meeting has agreed with the proposal and the minister will soon announce the detailed SOP and the reopening date for higher learning institutions soon,” he said in his Recovery MCO press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

Ismail Sabri added that the move will include allowing foreign students to return, citing the MoHE has prepared all the accompanying SOPs that are needed to be in place.

Meanwhile, the government has also allowed religious lectures, Dhuha prayers and Friday sermons to be conducted in mosques and suraus starting from this week.

Ismail Sabri said classes such as Quran and Fardhu Ain will also be allowed, as long as social-distancing measures are adhered to.

“They are allowed from this week onwards, subjected to the SOPs and the size and capacity of the mosque or surau,” he said.

He also said mosques and suraus are also allowed to have sermons before Friday prayers starting from tomorrow.

On another note, Ismail Sabri said Singaporeans who seek to enter Malaysia are required to undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests in their country.

He said they will only be allowed to enter the country if they tested negative.

“If the tests were not carried out, the citizens would need to submit a ‘Fit to Travel’ certificate to ensure they are not symptomatic and free from the virus.

“Singapore may have a policy of not having to test if there are no symptoms. But, they must issue the certificate to its people to enable them to enter Malaysia,” he added.

He said it is an existing requirement for a person entering the country from Singapore to have already gone through Covid-19 screening.

This is followed by a report on June 25 claiming that a Malaysia My Second Home applicant was turned away at the Johor Causeway as he had not undergone a test for Covid-19.

However, the senior minister said the government will review this condition again to loosen some of the regulations and it will depend on the discussion between both countries’ Foreign Ministries.