PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry has taken stakeholders’ views and concerns into consideration for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) this year.
As a result, students on average will now sit for two papers a day.
Examinations Syndicate director of examinations Adzman Talib said it has revised the proposed timetable to make it less packed.
“In the tentative timetable, students were scheduled to sit for up to three papers in a day.
“We have accommodated all stakeholders’ views to the best of our abilities,” he told The Star.
However, he said that students sitting for Physics, Chemistry and Biology will have to complete these over three days. These subjects comprise three papers each.
“I want to emphasise that students are given breaks between Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology by alternating them with other subjects and with weekends,” he said.
The most common concerns that parents and students raised were to separate core papers and not have Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology consecutively.
“Many also did not want Bahasa Melayu and Accounts to be placed on the same day,” he said, adding that Accounts is now on the last day of SPM.
Many students sit for the Accounts paper, he said, adding that there were 67,890 candidates last year.
Teachers, he said, who gave their feedback said the proposed timetable was too packed, especially for heavier subjects, and that it would cause pressure among students.
“I would like to thank The Star for highlighting this issue, which enabled us to gain valuable feedback from the various stakeholders,” he said.
The finalised SPM timetable can be downloaded from the ministry’s website (http://lp.moe.gov.my).
SPM will be held from Oct 14 to Nov 28. More than 400,000 students sit for SPM each year.
The Star reported last month that the ministry’s proposal to bring forward the SPM examinations this year to avoid the annual floods had opened up the floodgates.
Parents and students had voiced their concerns over the tight SPM schedule.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik had said that the proposal to bring SPM forward was so that the exams would not be disrupted by the heavy rains.
Adzman said the syndicate has done its best to accommodate the concerns raised by all parties.
“These include Dr Maszlee’s wish that the SPM ends earlier so teachers can rest as well as releasing the results sooner,” he added.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan Huat Hock said the union was glad the ministry has come up with a new schedule.
“We welcome the new SPM schedule as it accommodates the stakeholders’ concerns, especially the teachers.
“We also urge the syndicate to ensure the early release of the SPM results so that it will aid the students in their future education plans,” he said.
Tomorrow: Reaction from parents and students