Students thrilled returning to campus, admission with strict SOPs

By Rafiqi Yusoff

GOMBAK, 16 October 2021: An exhilaration felt by most higher learning institution students during the process of returning to their campuses to carry on with face-to-face teaching and learning, began on Friday (15 October).

The standard operating procedures (SOPs), however, are not perceived as trivial matters and strictly put into action by the management of higher learning institutions simply to ward off the COVID-19 transmissions in spite of the exhilaration during the returning process. 

The SOPs take in conducting the Rapid Antigen Test (RTK-Ag) on students prior to entering the campuses and to come prepared with the preparations needed in the event of the infection.

In Kuala Lumpur, a total of 6,872 students of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) from four campuses namely Gombak, Kuantan, Pagoh and Kuala Lumpur returned to their respective campuses yesterday. 

IIUM Rector, Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak remarked that the university management certainly emphasises their students’ well being and safety in ensuring a well regulated learning process.

“We have made all the preparations to provide a safe setting for teaching and learning in order to maintain their good health. We have to see our current situation as endemic, we will open (the campus) in stages to return to normal.”

“Face-to-face learning seems way more effective compared to the online mode of teaching and learning,” Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dzulkifli remarked during his interview with Bernama at Mahallah Aminah, IIUM. 

Moreover, Nur Afizah Hamzah, 21, majoring in Usul Fiqh from the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS), expressed her elation to start with face-to-face learning after it has been over a year depending on online mode of learning.

“I am relieved to be able to return to the campus since all the facilities here are fully-equipped compared to doing a semester from home with certain limitations. So, of course, I am happy to return to campus to continue my studies,” she said.

In Selangor, it is reported that the movement of approximately 6,400 of students from the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), to their campus complies with SOPs. 

The College Principal, Dr. Norhasnida Nordin affirmed that in regard to the admission for October 2021 session, there were only 50 percent of students who are allowed to go into the campus and their vaccination status are verified to ensure there was no risk of COVID-19 infection. 

Muhammad Alif Naqiuddin Mohd Azha, 20, from the Faculty of Applied Science expressed his elation for being able to return to campus to finally reunite with his friends after more than a year not meeting them physically. 

In Negeri Sembilan, the number of about 800 out of 2,445 first year and special needs students of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) signed up in their residential colleges starting yesterday. 

The Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Prof. Datuk Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin noted that those students were the first batch to enrol for the first phase from yesterday until next Monday (18 October). 

Meanwhile, in MELAKA, the admission of 4,240 Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) students for physical learning sessions was carried through in four phases.

Datuk Sabri Mohamad Sharif, the Deputy of Vice-Chancellor for Student Affair, UTeM, revealed that the student admission was carried out in stages to avoid overcrowding and to facilitate each of the SOPs to be monitored and implemented systematically. 

However, in Johor, despite having to study in a pandemic situation that has not yet abated, the environment captured at the campus of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) yesterday was full of alleviation and exhilaration for students to resume their physical learning on campus.

“I am very happy and excited at the same time as other than being able to go back to study with my friends, I also intend to do my best since this is my final year at UTM. So, I need to focus and make sure my marks are good, particularly for my last project,” said Natasya Azman, 22, a final year Biology student. 

Moving on to northern Malaysia, the movement of students from Politeknik Seberang Perai in Penang and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in Kedah were also run smoothly by strictly following the SOPs. 

A total of 500 students from Politeknik Seberang Perai and about 3,000 UUM students returned to their respective higher learning institutions by stages, following the first phase for UUM involving 800 students from the northern zone.

The director of Politeknik Seberang Perai, Harith Fadzilah Abd Khalid made a remark that the total of 50 secretaries comprising 20 officers and 30 students from the institution’s Student Representative Council were assigned to monitor the SOPs compliance in ensuring the student admission process to the campus went well. 

“We have also set up the COVID-19 Committee in order to control and monitor the student admission process more efficiently,” he said.***

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