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Sudden decision to reopen universities flamed

Ahirul Ahirudin
Written by Ahirul Ahirudin

KUALA LUMPUR – July 2, 2020: The decision to reopen universities sooner than expected has attracted heavy flak, especially from students.

As pointed by student Infitah Natasha, the reason for this was due to the flip-flop nature of the decision that contradicts an earlier announcement that all university lectures and classes to be held online until Dec 31.

Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday said the Higher Education Ministry is to announce the reopening of higher learning institutions soon.

He said the National Security Council (NSC) has approved the ministry’s proposal to reopen universities and colleges as the Covid-19 situation in the country is now under control.

“Earlier when you come out with the statement that there will be no physical classes until the end of 2020 – You should also mention that it is subjected to changes.

“Many students have let go of their accommodations because of it, especially the final year students. Were all this counted in your discussions?” questioned Infitah Natasha through her Twitter account.

Her tweet had garnered close to 3,000 retweets and was echoed by former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

“Avoid changing the original ministry of higher education’s decision in such a short notice when it comes to the reopening of universities,” he tweeted.  

In the same thread, he mentioned how the decision is causing inconvenience to those who had already let go of their accommodation and others who will have to travel back from their hometowns.

“There will be some who have to shoulder the expensive cost for flight tickets back and forth, especially those from Sabah and Sarawak.

“The financial burden would definitely be heavier in this trying time. I hope that the ministry can come out with a better directive to address this,” he said.

Another student who goes by the name of Aina directed her concerns on the matter to Ismail Sabri by tagging him in her tweet.

“Before this, you’ve mentioned that online classes would be carried out until end of the year, but now you mention about university reopening soon. It is complicated for students who have to travel back (from Sabah and Sarawak) to the Peninsular.

“Please, let it go until the end of the year,” she pleaded through her twitter account.

Meanwhile, there are those who proposed for flight tickets to be made cheaper for students to ease their financial burden

“If they really want to reopen the universities, can flight tickets be cheaper for us Sabah and Sarawak students?

“If I need to fork out RM1,000 for my flight back, I might as well build a boat,” said Atira Majid through her Twitter account.

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Ahirul Ahirudin

Ahirul Ahirudin