Marlborough College Malaysia is delighted to have all year groups back on site for the start of the new academic year. The College is operating according to the Standard Operating Procedures outlined by the Malaysian Government as well as some enhancements. It is lovely to hear laughter in the corridors and learning echoing from the classrooms.
To assist those returning from overseas, the College is coordinating a bespoke quarantine arrangement with the Ministry of Health and other agencies for pupils who return from overseas. Parents with valid visas are also taking advantage of this agreement and accompanying their children through quarantine. Pupils, along with parents (in some cases) are transported from KLIA directly to a local hotel where they complete their 14 days quarantine. With child-friendly menus and MCM staff on hand 24 hours a day, we have a number of families using this service.
Links with Singapore (via the Tuas crossing) will be restored in due course once we receive details about how the crossing will operate for our pupils.
Prospective parents and pupils are most welcome to book an appointment to tour the School in term time. Please contact Admissions.
Updated: 1st September 2020
From the Master
From 18th March until the end of the Summer Term Marlborough was online. Digital technology was employed with commendable vigour and impact by Beaks, pupils and parents. However, the College is a community and it does not flourish in only one dimension; communities are about friendship and fellowship, providing support, challenge and developing a full and proper education which means that many important lessons are learned outside as well as inside the classroom. It is difficult to deliver all of this online and so we anticipate with excitement the new academic year beginning for all pupils at the MCM site on Tuesday 25th August.
We have looked carefully at national guidance and adopted it as our minimum standard, a standard that we have enhanced where we consider it appropriate to do so because the safety and wellbeing of pupils and staff is our foremost concern. In a multi-layered approach, the first layer starts at home: if a pupil is unwell or has a temperature, they should not be sent to the College; within the College, we will check temperatures and be observant for symptoms of illness, we will exercise appropriate distancing and hygiene, we encourage masks to be worn in confined or crowded spaces and we have implemented a robust cleaning regime.
I am grateful to everyone who has made the adjustments and worked so hard to enable the College grounds and buildings to reopen. As a community let us all share the responsibility of keeping them open by understanding what is expected of us and working cooperatively within the parameters and expectations that are laid out within this booklet.
The booklet below explains the Standard Operating Procedures that have been implemented at Marlborough College Malaysia following term recommencement on 25th August 2020.
MCM Quarantine Information
Marlborough College Malaysia has bespoke quarantine arrangements for MCM pupils (and their parents) arriving from overseas that the College has agreed with the Ministry of Health and other agencies.
MCM staff coordinate your child’s arrival, testing, transport and quarantine to Hotel Jen, Puteri Harbour. Parents, with valid visas, may also take advantage of this agreement and accompany their children through the quarantine process.
Pupils (and parents) must arrive into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from which they will be accompanied directly to Hotel Jen by MCM staff.
During their quarantine period, MCM staff will be on call 24 hours a day, pupils will be checked regularly via phone by the duty staff and their Form or Heads of House as appropriate. They will be able to join online learning during this time prior to being able to be physically back in class at the College once their quarantine is completed.
For more details on MCM Quarantine, and how to book, please see this PDF.
The following is an account, by Mrs Heather Stevens, of her recent experience when she arrived at KLIA, and the process that she went through to go into quarantine just a few days ago.
My Experience of Returning to Malaysia During the RMCO
Normally, when I’m getting off an international flight, I don’t think much about that last little bit – the process of getting through the airport, getting my passport stamped, picking up my luggage and heading out to the car. It’s usually very quick and over in less than half an hour.
However, I knew that this time returning to Malaysia would be very different – for a start, I had to have quite a lot of official paperwork in place before even undertaking the journey and I’m so grateful for the support and guidance provided by our wonderful HR Department at MCM for this. This paperwork was checked by the Qatar Airways staff at check-in and found to be in order so I started the long journey back from the UK feeling confident that everything would be okay at the Malaysia end.
When the plane eventually touched down at KL, we disembarked wearing our masks (and the face shields which the airline provided), but instead of just following the signs independently, we all had to stay together. Two officials lined us up in two lines and guided us from the arrivals gate to the point where we could pick up a bus to take us to the terminal.
At this point, we all had to either install the MySejaterah App or update our profile. I had the App already so completed the Check-in page easily enough using the QR code but the last step was the important one and it took everyone a little while to work out how to get the ‘Home Protection Order’ visible on our phones. As it turned out, it was simple – you just close down the app after having checked in, re-open it and go to the ‘Profile’ page (the button is at the bottom of the screen) and it just pops up! That satisfied the official and we were allowed to pass through to get the bus to the terminal.
At the terminal, we had a number of stages to get through. There was a desk with lots of officials, in PPE, available to issue the actual ‘Order for Surveillance and Observation’ to each passenger – this is the document which sets out the terms of mandatory quarantine and I had to sign it to say I agreed with it. On checking my passport details, my name was on a special list of people who had permission to quarantine in the Jen Hotel, and so the official noted this on my documentation and explained how I would need to get a second Covid test before I would be free to go at the end of my 14 days. MCM makes the arrangements for this test, so I didn’t need to worry about it. He also put the little pink plastic bracelet on my wrist and explained that I must not remove it – that would be done by someone else at the end of my quarantine. At first, I was very conscious of it, but after a very short time, I stopped noticing it completely.
I was then guided to another station where I was told to leave my passport and document in a basket, take a seat and wait to be called for the Covid test. This was the bit I was most anxious about. I had heard some scary stories about how unpleasant it was and I’m not a very brave person, but I kept thinking that it’s done many, many times every day and if everyone else can get through it, I could! Sure enough, my name was called and a very gentle person took a swab, first of all from the back of my throat (that was easy!) and then the second one from my nose. I was asked to tip my head back which made it easier for them and it definitely felt weird, but apart from a tiny prickle which made my eyes water a bit, it wasn’t nearly as awful as I had expected and it was over in seconds. A lot easier than getting a vaccination, that’s for sure!.
The next step was to go to a different counter to pay for the test and then it was on to another counter to get my Letter of Undertaking checked. When the official asked how I intended to pay for my quarantine, I explained that I was going to the Jen Hotel as I was from Marlborough College Malaysia. He checked on his list and sure enough, my name was there, so they noted this on my form and I didn’t have to pay.
The next stage was to wait inside the immigration office. I had to put my passport into a basket on the counter and wait to be called. Soon enough it was my turn and after asking a few questions about my connection with Marlborough College, my passport was stamped and I was able to pass through the immigration gates. Directly on the other side, more officials checked that my name was on the list for separate arrangements (it was!) and they gave me a goody bag with water, juice, biscuits and a muffin in it. This was a very welcome gift as it had been a while since I had my breakfast on the plane.
Finally, I was taken to the baggage carousel where my suitcase was already waiting and then escorted to the arrivals area where the MCM representative was there to greet me, and ensure that I was linked up with the driver and representative from the Civil Defence Authority. They were really warm and friendly, and after disinfecting my luggage, they took me in a Luxy cab all the way to the Jen Hotel, Puteri Harbour where the staff there were also waiting to check my papers, and bring me to the room which will be my ‘home’ for the next 14 days. They even made sure that I had a hot meal shortly after my arrival.
It all felt like something from a movie, being surrounded by people in PPE dress,
but I know that the staff are keeping themselves safe and they were all helpful and not intimidating at all. It made such a difference that MCM staff had prepared the ground so that I was already known to them as someone who had special arrangements in place through Marlborough College and the agent who met me on arrival was so helpful and just made the final step easy. Throughout my whole three hours going through the process, the MCM Transport Manager was in touch by WhatsApp, checking my progress and the HR Manager was also at the end of the phone if needed and so I felt that at every stage, I had help available if I needed it.
I’m not sure that I’ll ever take easy entry into a country for granted ever again, but in these unusual times, when Malaysia is, understandably, keeping tight control over the risk of new infection, I felt that they were being very responsible, taking the risk seriously and I was happy to accept the hassle that it involved for me, in order to get home.
Just my quarantine period to go, but I’ve already had a call from the MCM duty staff member at the hotel this morning, which was a lovely way to start my day. It feels very good indeed to be part of the MCM family. Everyone cares!
Mrs Heather Stevens
Marlborough College Malaysia has adopted the Boarding Schools’ Association COVID-Safe Charter ensuring our compliance with government guidance across our boarding and educational provision, establishing a safe return for our pupils.