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UNM Professor shares his views on the reopening of schools


Professor Dr Ganakumaran Subramanian, Head of the School of Education at University of Nottingham Malaysia recently appeared on Astro Awani’s Consider This programme to discuss the staggered reopening of Malaysian public schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the discussion, Professor Ganakumaran said that the closure of schools came as a shock to many parties who did not anticipate how greatly they would be affected. As a result of this, many educational institutions were not well-equipped to handle school closures and the move to online learning. 

He went on to say that based on his discussion with principals and teachers, roughly 20 to 25% percent of students, especially those living in the rural areas had their learning greatly affected as a result of the closures. 

Professor Ganakumaran, however, said that the damage was not irreversible. Moving forward he said the education sector needs to remove some of the bloat from the curriculum and focus on core subjects that are vital for students to progress as this would be the most effective way for students to catch up on lessons in critical subjects.

Hosts Sharaad Kuttan and Melissa Idris also spoke to Professor Ganakumaran about the teachers and learners’ readiness in embracing online teaching. They also discussed the education ministry’s decision on the reopening of schools and why it was done on a staggered basis. 

“The pandemic has impacted the education industry greatly and it may take a while to bounce back but I am certain it will do so. I was glad to be able to share my views on the reopening of schools with the Malaysian public,” said Professor Ganakumaran.

CEO and Provost of UNM, Professor Graham Kendall said, “As the Head of the School of Education and an active researcher in this field, Gana understands the education system very well and we hope his valuable insight will give the Malaysian public especially teachers and parents a better understanding on why these decisions were made.”

The full interviews is available here


For media enquiries please contact: Josephine Dionisappu, PR and Communications Manager University of Nottingham Malaysia at  

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Posted on 16th June 2020

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