KUALA LUMPUR: About 70,000 out of the 162,414 students from institutions of higher learning (IPT) staying in campuses returned home in stages from yesterday in preparation for the Aidilfitri celebrations.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad (pix) said they comprised IPT students in public universities, private higher education institutions, polytechnics and community colleges.
She said their movement was based on the strict compliance of the standard operating procedure (SOP) via four stipulated methods, namely using buses coordinated by IPTs, own vehicles, picked up by parents or by flight for Sabah students.
“The decision to allow them to travel was made after receiving the approval from the National Security Council (MKN) and Ministry of Health (MOH) recently.
“So, I advise each student to comply with the SOP throughout their stay in their hometowns with their families by wearing face masks, using hand sanitiser and adopting physical distancing,” she said when met while monitoring the movement of students from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) campus here, yesterday.
Earlier, the Higher Education Ministry (KPT) announced that over 100,000 IPT students who are currently in campuses would be allowed to return home for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays, except for Sarawak.
The movement of students in stages was fixed from May 7 to 12 from campuses to their respective homes while the return journey to the campuses is from May 15 to 20.
Meanwhile, a total of 7,500 UKM students returned to their respective homes nationwide, except to Sarawak, under the first phase tonight by boarding 19 buses. A total of 350 students will board 13 buses tomorrow (second phase) and the final phase on Sunday will see 32 students leaving the campus.
On the procedure for the IPT students when they return to campus, Noraini said they would be required to undergo screening tests, especially those from high-risk areas.
“If they are symptomatic and record high temperature, they will be isolated and not allowed onto campus. For those who are asymptomatic, they can return to campus and continue with the learning sessions,” she said.
Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) helped arrange transportation for 2,748 of its students to return to their hometowns beginning yesterday, while for today, it will provide 10 buses to take its students home to all states in the peninsula.
“Today, eight buses were used to ferry the students home to all the states in the peninsula, except for Terengganu. The students will leave for Terengganu from today (May 8) by two buses,” USM said in a statement. -Bernama