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Glad to return to school life

GEORGE TOWN: Besides getting to meet their friends again, students resuming physical classes at St Xavier’s Institution (SXI) at Lebuh Farquhar here have also been given stationery and face mask kits.

SXI brother director Brother Jason Blaikie, who handed the kits to the students, said the “Untukmu Xaverians (For You, Xaverians)” programme was organised by the school’s counselling unit and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to cheer up returning students.

“It has been some time since students last came to school, so we wanted to cheer them up and welcome them.

“The kit contains items like pens, notebooks and face masks.

“The items will come in handy for the students, so we hope they will find a joyful feeling on returning to school,” he said yesterday.

Form One student Muhammad Al Rasydan Abdul Rashid could not hide his excitement as he resumed physical classes.

Shipping company executive Abdul Rashid Mb Ibrahim, 37, said his son was so excited to return to school.

“All the virtual classes (affected) his ability to fully focus and enjoy the learning process.

“Nothing beats ‘physical education’, so he is happy to return to school. I am happy to see that he gets to enjoy a good learning process,” he said after dropping his son off at the school’s gates yesterday.

Eban Ong, 16, was seen grabbing his schoolbag hurriedly to enter the school gates after his grandfather had dropped him off.

Retiree Stephen Tang, 73, said his grandson was eager to meet his friends in school after a long time.

“In terms of learning, he does all right with virtual classes. Sometimes, he prefers it as he can sit at home and follow the class in any seating position,” he added.

SXI principal Goh Hong Peng, who welcomed the students back at the entrance of the school, said they expected about 400 students to return for physical classes.

“We have some 970 students and we expect some 450 to return to classes on the first day.

“For Form One to Form Four students, they will be coming back to classes alternatively as only a 50% capacity is allowed.”

Goh said each student in the class would be assigned a seat and they were not allowed to change places or seats.

“This means that the classrooms will be half empty and when the 50% in attendance comes back tomorrow, they will be taking different seats, not the ones used today,” he said.

Earlier, the Education Ministry announced that schools in Penang, Sabah and Kedah will resume operations on Nov 21 and 22, in accordance with the regulations under Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan.

This involves Year One to Six pupils in primary schools, as well as those in remove classes and Form One to Four students in secondary schools.

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