Letter from the Master | ST2023 Week 5
Dear Parents and Guardians
Ministry of Education’s Suspension of Outdoor Activities in Schools
Thank you for your support for the College and for your patience during the Ministry of Education’s nationwide suspension of outdoor activities by schools. Marlborough, like all schools in Malaysia, must operate within the parameters that are set by the MoE as the licensing authority.
As we know, the MoE’s decision was a response to specific tragic events elsewhere, not weather conditions which are largely predictable and vary within a narrow tolerance here.
The safety of our pupils will always be paramount at Marlborough, closely followed by the provision of an uncompromisingly broad and balanced curriculum of opportunity.
Outdoor activity forms an integral part of our curriculum and its value in promoting health, a positive mindset, emotional intelligence, psychological capital and heightened cognition is inestimable. It is also enjoyable and that should always form part of a good education. For these reasons, our Games and PE staff have been working hard to provide additional early morning swimming, a range of alternative indoor lessons and we have made available additional air conditioned indoor space that would normally be used for internal exams at this point in the year.
At MCM we have Heat Management Guidelines which escalate intervention on a scale that is determined by the Heat Index; this takes into account both temperature and humidity on the College site to give a more accurate indicator of risk.
Since the MoE’s suspension order was announced, I have been in touch with other schools and with the Ministry of Education about this matter. The principle we commend is a delegation of responsibility for child safety to school leadership, as is the case in all other areas of child protection.
I have welcomed the Ministry of Education’s openness to discuss the matter and was pleased to meet face to face earlier this week in Putrajaya. The Ministerial team was receptive, interested and in agreement that a one-size-fits-all approach to weather-related risk is not practical.
I would ask for your and your children’s patience for a little while and I will keep you and all of our parents updated with developments which, I hope, will be rapid.