Pandemic weighing on their minds

PETALING JAYA: The government’s decision to proceed with all public exams is welcomed by students, parents and teachers, despite their concerns about the high number of Covid-19 cases of late.

Tan, an STPM student from Johor, said he did not mind the ruling but urged the government to delay the reopening of schools to curb the spread of the virus.

“The SPM and the STPM exams have been rescheduled to next month onwards.

“I have no problem with that but just that the Covid-19 situation right now is concerning.

“It has made parents worry and may affect students emotionally, ” the 19-year-old said.

On Friday, Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim said that all public exams – SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia), Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia, Sijil Vokasional Malaysia, STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia) and Diploma Vokasional Malaysia –would begin on Feb 22 as scheduled.

An SPM student who only wanted to be known as Ram said he was more anxious about how he would fare in the exams.

“It is difficult to sit still and focus on online lessons.

“I am worried about how I’ll do in the exam and also about the high number of cases out there, ” he said.

A private school teacher based in Selangor, who wished not to be named, was agreeable to the SPM and STPM exams being held, adding that they were precursors to tertiary education for the candidates.

The teacher, however, hoped that the students could go through the exams safely amid the pandemic.

A woman who referred to herself as Leong was relieved that the exams would not be deferred as she has a son sitting for the SPM exam.

“I have been paying too much for my son’s tuition.

“We invested in additional tuition classes to boost his studies since last year as the online classes were not working for him.

“If there are constant changes, it becomes really difficult to plan.

“We have to think of his A-Level studies as well. We can’t be wasting any more time, ” she said.

On Saturday, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said in a Facebook post that reopening schools to only SPM and STPM students was a “balanced” decision to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19 and disruption to tertiary education plans.

He said the number of students who were presently allowed in schools only made up about 20% of the student population.

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public exams , SPM , STPM , school , students , covid-19


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