Wed, Jun 24, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network
It's classes as usual, virtually no breaks for flu-hit schools

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Although Seri Cempaka Cheras in Batu 9, Cheras, has been asked to close down for a week from yesterday, classes will go on as usual for students through the school's Virtual Learning Environment.

'We're prepared for this sort of thing,' said Cempaka Group of Schools chairman Datin Frieda Datuk Mohd Pilus.

'Each child has a laptop and the teacher teaches through the laptop.'

Online classrooms could be held, she said, adding that teachers and students used blogs, Skype, Twitter among others.

Cempaka Group of Schools vice-chairman Dr Iskandar Rizal said this system was adopted following the SARS outbreak some years ago.

'We put this in place just in case any emergency like this happens.

'Teachers, students and parents have been trained and all the students know about it,' he said, adding that students would follow the same timetable as they would in school, and thus would not miss classes.

Examinations which are currently ongoing will be postponed till the international school re-opens next week.

At SJK (C) Jalan Davidson, the first school to be closed in the country after local transmission of the influenza A (H1N1) was detected there, learning went on via the school's website, www.davidson.edu.my.

The self-learning courses were courtesy of an educational company the school works with and were free of charge, according to deputy principal B.H. Lim.

'We have sent out SMSes to all the parents to inform them we are starting this. Hopefully, the pupils will continue to do their homework.'

Lim said teachers would mark their work when school re-opens. English, Science, Maths and Chinese language learning modules are available on the website.

Lim added that it was the principal, Pang Chong Leong, who had mooted the idea of the online courses as part of its crisis management plan.

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