Public exams to go on as planned

PETALING JAYA: The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and all other public exams will not be deferred.

Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim said there would also be no lowering of the examinations’ standards despite calls to do so as students were left learning from home throughout most of last year leading to many missing out on fully understanding the syllabus.

“The dates and the standard of the examinations remain the same, ” she said during a virtual press conference on operations in schools for this year.

The SPM, SKM, Sijil Vokasional Malaysia, STPM, Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia and Diploma Vokasional Malaysia exams will begin from Feb 22.

“The ministry has already issued the exam schedules (last year) and they still remain, ” she said.

She added that it was not just about taking the examinations but also the student’s health and safety.

Hence, she said, they would follow the strict standard operating procedure that were used during the repeat SPM papers held last August.

“Our SOP is stricter and (all) need to comply, ” she added.

Habibah also said that any changes to the exam format, semester arrangement, marking scheme or standard of questions would affect the examinations’ international accreditation.

For example, she said that any changes to the SPM would jeopardise its accreditation as an O-Level equivalent.

She added that changes to this accreditation would affect a candidate’s chances of being accepted into a higher education institution.

“This is why we are trying to ensure our students are ready (to sit for the exams), ” she said in reference to exam candidates having to return to school since Wednesday for face-to-face teaching and learning.

Habibah also said that the Education Ministry aired programmes on national television as part of home-based learning, with plans to add more.

“There is a total of nine hours of content as of now, ” she added.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said that it was better to go on with the exams according to the schedule to avoid damaging a student’s future.

“Do not deprive students of their SPM certificate through no fault of theirs, ” she told The Star.

She also said that it was better for them to be back in school for face-to-face teaching and learning as online learning was proving to be ineffective.

“Those without connectivity were even worse off, ” she added.

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public exams , SPM , SPTM , SOP , covid-19


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