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No order to close schools, says Dept

Published on: Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Kota Kinabalu: The State Education Department has not received any directive to close down schools in the State capital.

Acting Director Hjh Maimunah Hj Suhaibul said, Tuesday, neither was there permission given to schools to allow students to go home early.

She was asked to comment on unofficial reports that some worried parents had gone to their children's schools, in particular primary schools, to take them home even before dismissal time.

"Parents have to take responsibility when they decide to take their children out of school for whatever reason, including sickness, during school hours.

"However, we do not allow school buses to do likewise.

The parents concerned must come personally to the school," she clarified when contacted.

Apparently, parents' anxiety was caused by the circulation of unverified warnings of imminent intrusion into Kota Kinabalu via short messaging service (SMS) texts over the last few days. Some refrained from sending their children to school.

On the temporary closure of schools in Kunak and Semporna, Maimunah said the school authorities had made the application to the department in the wake of the incidents in those two areas.

"It is not a problem. The school term for the entire year is 190 days.

Any shortfall can be made up by replacing the 'off school' days," she said.

One principal of a secondary school here reported that there were calls from parents to find out whether she had announced early dismissal for the students.

"I told them there was no such thing. We take orders from the Education Ministry through the State Education Department," she said.