PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry is investigating claims that several PT3 (Form Three Assessment) exam papers have been leaked, says a ministry official.
These papers include English, Mathematics and Geography.
There are allegations that some exam questions or even the full papers were made available on social media before students were due to sit for those papers.
The official said teachers can write in their complaints to the Examinations Syndicate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The ministry is looking into it, ” said the official.
Earlier in the week, many people received a “media statement” allegedly from the ministry claiming that the PT3 English paper would be repeated on Oct 10 due to a leak.
On Tuesday, students sat for the paper as scheduled and the ministry issued a statement to say the announcement of the resit was fake.
The ministry advised the public not to spread such unverified messages as it could distress parents and put more pressure on PT3 students.
However, it appears that talk of PT3 leaks did not end there.
A PT3 student from a school in Selangor said after her Mathematics paper yesterday morning, she heard her friends talk about the question paper having been leaked the night before.
The girl said the paper was circulated on instant messaging app Telegram.
“I asked them to send me the link to the group chat and when I joined the group, I saw that the question papers posted there were exactly the same as the ones I sat for – 100% the same!” said the student, who did not want to be named.
“Questions that are supposedly from the upcoming exam papers continue to be leaked in the group. I exited the group after that.
“It is so unfair because I studied so hard to get good results for my PT3. Especially now with the changes to the exam format, it is tough to score good marks.
“It is irresponsible. People shouldn’t be leaking the questions, ” she added.
The Star obtained screenshots of the Mathematics paper and joined the Telegram group chat where the exam papers were exchanged.
As at press time, there are 2,782 members in the chat group.
Some members posted messages saying the leaked questions matched those in the actual exam papers.
The administrator of the chat group goes by the name of Sang Anti Bot.
A secondary school English teacher in Selangor said he was informed by his students they got questions and answers to the three PT3 papers in advance through a Telegram chat group.
“As a teacher, it is frustrating when someone leaks the paper in such a manner as we are talking about months of preparation.
“The ministry must study where things went wrong and restore faith in the examination system. No more leaks.
“What quality of students will we be sending to Form Four if we allow this to continue?” he asked.
The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has called for a thorough investigation into the claims.
“I urge the ministry and the police to look into this matter as well as the viral fake statement announcing the resit of the English PT3 paper.
“Such claims cause unnecessary panic and stress on teachers, students and ministry officials. It shames the nation.
“Identify the culprit or culprits and institute legal action, ” said its secretary-general Harry Tan.
He added that claims of exam paper leaks could trigger a loss of confidence in teachers.
Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education chairman Mak Chee Kin said he was not surprised by the claims of leaks in the PT3 exam.
“The standard operating procedure is that only the examination secretary, principal or academic vice-principal and the office assistant in charge of printing have access to question papers.
“The possibility of leakage is already there if the four parties concerned have an interest in how the students fare in the exam.
“Some schools even allow subject teachers to have access to the questions and some schools send the questions out for printing.
“People whose work are judged based on key performance indicators, including teachers who give tuition, will surely give out tips, ” he added.
Fauzia Sultan, whose son is sitting for the PT3 this year, said if the claims are true, it’s not fair to the students who may have to resit exam papers.
“As parents, we’re at a loss as to what is going on.
“Our kids study hard and we don’t want them to go through these exams again because it is stressful.
“I hope the ministry will rectify it, if the claims are true, in a way where students will not have to resit the affected papers, ” she said.
Another parent who only wants to be known as Kavitha said leaks added more pressure on students.
Kavitha’s daughter is also a PT3 student.
“She is just counting down the days to the end of the exams.
“It’s not fair to our kids who are not depending on tips because they have studied everything.
“Parents whose kids get tips or leaks should just keep it to themselves rather than share them on social media.
“It puts everyone else in trouble. Because of one person’s irresponsible actions, everyone else is jeopardised, ” the mother added.
There are 450,000 PT3 candidates every year.
In 2014, the PT3 replaced the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination.
PT3 is one of the four assessments under the overall school-based assessment system.
The other three components are the school assessment; assessment of physical, sports and co-curricular activities; and psychometric assessment.
In a statement late yesterday, the Examinations Syndicate said based on standard operating procedure, the responsibility to download and print the exam papers rest with the principal, senior administration assistant, and PT3 secretary in the respective schools.
“In this, the relevant personnel has to sign the Official Secrets
Act 1972 and it is compulsory for them to observe all the steps involved in quality control, including secrecy.
“The PT3 papers, including the scoring guidelines, are classified as restricted documents, and must be kept under lock and key at all times, and their movements must be recorded at all times.
“If the allegations are true, then the state education departments must conduct investigations.
“In the meantime, the ministry urges the public not to spread unverified information, and to always refer to the ministry for the official account.”