PETALING JAYA: Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) 2020 candidates will not have face-to-face classes beginning Feb 10.
This is to allow them to go on holiday for Chinese New Year and also to self-study before the exam kicks off on Feb 22.
In a circular dated Feb 4, Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim (pic) said schools can conduct additional classes during this time until the exams end if there is a need.
These additional classes would require permission from parents, guardians and teachers, she added.
"The school must always comply with all standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of Covid-19 among the school's community," she said.
A check by The Star revealed that besides exam candidates, both primary and secondary students will have two additional days' break beginning Feb 10, followed by the Chinese New Year public holiday on Feb 12 and 13.
Habibah also said those living in boarding schools and hostels can return home for Chinese New Year.
However, she added that their trip home is bound by current movement control order regulations.
"These candidates who return to their hostels after Chinese New Year will be isolated for 10 days. They will also sit for their examinations in a special room during this period," she said.
Habibah said candidates who do not wish to return to their hostels after the break can sit for their examinations at the nearest exam centre.
She added that the parents of these candidates will have to inform the school by Feb 9 if their child will not be returning to the hostel.
Earlier, Malaysia Parliament Special Committee on Education chairman Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias questioned the Education Ministry's motives to halt face-to-face classes when they had only just resumed.
"What methods will the teacher use in the 14 days before this exam to help students?" he said in a statement on Saturday (Feb 6).