Colourful return to school up north

BUTTERWORTH: Mascots representing the God of Prosperity, Rilakkuma bears and a minion from the film Despicable Me were among those waiting at the entrance of SJK(C) Mak Mandin here to welcome Year One and Year Two pupils on their first day of school.

The mascots joined the teachers and principal to welcome the eager pupils accompanied by their parents, who were equally thrilled by the warm welcome.

The school’s board of directors chairman Eow Siek Fong dressed up as the God of Prosperity while parent-teacher association chairman Chng Beng Xin and alumni chairman Seeto Peng Pheng dressed up as Rilukkuma bear mascots.

Also seen at the school entrance was a worker who suited up as a minion and school headmistress Yap Wai Kwan, who wore a red dress in conjunction with the recently concluded Chinese New Year festival.

Eow said the school entrance was decorated with sculptures of two large “golden bulls” and lanterns were hung all around to create a festive atmosphere for the pupils.

“We believe the pupils should feel welcomed back to school, so we decided to dress up as different characters to cheer them up on their first day back.

A total of 71 pupils are enrolled in Year One at the school this year together with 62 pupils in Year Two.

After having their temperatures checked by the teachers, the students gleefully collected their ang pow before they were led into their classrooms.

Meanwhile, state education director Abdul Rashid Abdul Samad said a total of 271 schools in Penang reopened to receive 42,637 Year One and Two pupils yesterday.

“There are 21,880 pupils from Year One and 20,757 pupils from Year Two, ” he said.

In Alor Setar, a total of 73,198 pupils in pre-school, Year One and Year Two attended their first day of face-to-face schooling.

In Kedah, the new school term for this year was scheduled to have started on Jan 20 but the extension of the conditional movement control order saw the school term rescheduled to March 1.

State education director Rozaini Ahmad said the 73,198 comprised 12,683 pre-school, 30,339 Year One and 30,176 Year Two pupils.

A check at SK Darul Aman Heights found pupils wearing face masks with teachers taking their temperature and instructing them to practise physical distancing.

Headmaster Burhanurdin Hasan said the school had notified parents through WhatsApp and Telegram a week ahead regarding the necessary preparations to be made before school reopened.