MELAKA: The Melaka Education Department has voiced concern over the absence of some 1,000 students from school who will be sitting for the SPM examination this year, despite various efforts made to get them back in class.
State Education director Dr Mohd Azam Ahmad said there was serious decline in class attendance in August and September, especially among male students.
"We are doing our best, including visiting the students at their homes to get them back to school in view that the SPM examination is scheduled to be held in January 2021.
"Furthermore, Melaka was among the states with a high attendance rate during the Covid-19 period," he said in an interview here on Friday (Sept 25).
Dr Mohd Azam said over 11,000 students are supposed to sit for the exam in the state and records show about 10% have not been attending classes.
He said the future of these students would be affected if they do not continue their studies.
"I want to assure parents that schools are safe and every precaution has been initiated to prevent the spread of Covid-19," he said.
Dr Mohd Azam said the Alor Gajah district recorded the highest number of absentees in the recent month.
He said most of these students who were not attending classes to prepare for the SPM examination claimed they had lost interest in education and had started working.
"There were some hit by family financial constraints but we had various mechanisms in place to provide assistance to them, including providing canteen money," he said.
Dr Mohd Azam said his department also hoped that community and association leaders in the state would help to encourage these teenagers in their respective localities to go back to school.
He added that his team was giving special focus to prepare students for the SPM this year in wake of the short studying period due to the impact of Covid-19.
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