Opposition MPs call for education minister, deputies to resign

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As education Covid-19 clusters rise, Opposition lawmakers today urged Education Minister Mohd Radzi Jidin and his deputies to step down for failing to do their duty and fulfilling the expectations of the people.

Low Lay Phon/The Star

In a statement yesterday, the group of eight Members of Parliament said the trio should step down for the future of the people and the country.

The MPs said they are aware of the anxiety and worry among teachers, parents, students and the public over the rise in Covid-19 cases in schools of late.

As of April 23, a total of 111 education clusters have been reported in the country.

“We also take note that the efforts to open the school in phases this year was made in haste not long after home-based teaching and learning was announced, without proper explanation on the plan and learning mechanism to the public, especially in the new normal where there could be cases in schools when (they) re-open,” they said in a joint statement.

They also highlighted the predicament of the management of schools who have lost their direction and are unprepared to reconvene (online teaching) if the schools close.

“In fact, the 150,000 laptops promised by the government have yet to be seen,” they said.

However, they lauded the efforts of school management and teachers for always adhering to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and ensuring that education continues.

The MPs said efforts to contain the spread of infection require the joint effort of all parties.

“The people are unclear over the direction and the action plan… because there is no transparent message from the ministry to the people,” they said.

“What is (clear) is the people’s anger, especially among teachers, school administrators and parents, toward the government and the ministry, represented by the minister and his two deputies… due to the weakness in handling the situation. This can be seen on the ground, including on social media,” they said.

The eight signatories are – former Education Minister and Pakatan Harapan Education Committee chief Dr Maszlee Malik, Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR), Kulai MP and former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching (DAP), Tampin MP Dr Hasan Baharom (Amanah), Tuaran MP and former science, technology and innovation minister Wilfred Madius Tangau (Upko), former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (MUDA), Kubang Pasu MP and former deputy finance minister Amiruddin Hamza (Pejuang) and Papar MP Ahmad Hassan (Warisan). – TMI