ISKANDAR PUTERI: Teachers in Johor have voiced support for the move to change state weekend rest days from the present Friday and Saturday.

Most of the 44,290 teachers in the state had lauded Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi’s announcement about reviewing the rest days to Saturday and Sunday, said Johor Education, Information and Communications Committee chairman Norlizah Noh (pic).

“When I visited the schools after the announcement, many teachers expressed support for the review because they said having Sunday as a school day has affected the students’ attendance.

“According to these primary and secondary school teachers, students had been skipping classes on Sundays and this was more apparent following the movement restrictions imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They said this was especially so during long weekends or public holidays; the classes would be empty,” she told reporters after the state assembly sitting yesterday.

Last week, Onn Hafiz said the state government was looking at the possibility of reviewing its rest days following public feedback about the different rest days adopted by the government and private bodies in Johor.

The change of weekend to Friday and Saturday from Saturday and Sunday was implemented in Johor on Jan 1, 2014.

Norlizah said yesterday that the rest day review should involve all levels of society including schools to ensure that the outcome was beneficial to all.

“However, I hope that any changes will not be implemented this year to avoid any inconvenience as the school calendar has been set for the rest of the year,” added Norlizah.

During the state assembly sitting, Ee Chin Li (PH-Tangkak) also raised a similar issue, saying that a non-governmental organisation conducted a survey in 2016 regarding the Friday-Saturday weekend in Johor.

“The survey involved about 30,000 respondents and it showed 95.7% of them supported the change of rest days to Saturday and Sunday. The study was also referred to by the Mentri Besar’s office in the same year,” he said.

Ee said a recent online petition to change the rest days had also collected 54,723 signatures as at 9am yesterday.

He hoped the state government would announce the outcome of its rest day review soon.