When Will Schools in Malaysia Be Opened?

primary classroom at Straits Internation School Penang

Since March 18, students have been on extended school holidays when the MCO was first announced to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As a parent, with school-going kids, you may be wondering when schools in Malaysia will reopen. According to the recommendations by the Health Ministry, schools will open in stages under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Also, the Health Director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said that parents would be given two weeks prior notice before school reopens to provide them with enough time to prepare themselves and the kids.

Based on the recommendation of opening schools in stages, the priority might first be given to students in Form five and six who will be sitting for major examinations.

Update: The Form Five and Six (Year 10 & Year 11 class) students are allowed back to school on June 24, 2020.


Many schools across the country have started preparations for students to return while waiting for an official announcement from the Education Ministry.

A ministry official said state Education Departments had informed them that cleaning preparations in schools had started.

Education Minister, Mohd Radzi, announced that school reopening management guidelines had been distributed since June 4 to allow schools and teachers to make the appropriate preparations for when schools open.

Mohd Radzi said that the guidelines include the movement of students within the school compounds — from the time they arrive until when school dismisses. He said that the guideline was put together in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council.

The guidelines were issued to check which methods need to be implemented, with regard to school reopening and preparation, to ensure that whenever the exact dates are announced, the school management, staff, and teachers will be ready.

The ministry has been discussing rooms for improvement with the schools. However, the most important thing is that everyone should play a role in school management — both teachers and parents. For example, if a child begins to display Covid-19 symptoms, the child should stay at home.

For students who attend private and international higher education institutions, reopening will also be done in phases, and online teaching and learning will continue.

Academicians and health experts have said that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) drawn up by the Higher Education Ministry should be made flexible and offer plans for both contingencies — a total or partial physical reopening of campuses and an alternative scenario where teaching and learning should continue online.

They also said that the Standard Operating Procedure and guidelines should ensure that students and faculty members practise social distancing at all times, body temperature checked daily, and public areas cleaned and sanitised regularly to avoid the risk of contracting the virus.


Professor of Education, Datuk Dr. Noraini Idiris said campus reopening should also be broken into stages with priority given to degree students in their final year and students who require laboratory work.

In monitoring schools to ensure compliance with the set guidelines, the state education department and the district education offices will be playing a crucial role, Mohd Radzi said.

He advised that parents should not worry about sending their kids to school, but they should get involved by playing a part in educating the kids about practising social distancing.

When asked about the specific date for school resumption, he stressed that there was no set date yet and that he was working closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Security Council (HKN) to determine the precise date.

“Once the MOH and MKN feel it is time to reopen the school, then we will make an announcement two weeks before the date. Thus far, we have yet to set a date for school reopening,” he said.


Update: Pre-schools, kindergarten allowed to re-open from July 1 2020, subject to compliance of standard operation procedure (SOP).

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