‘We are not ready to face SPM’

PETALING JAYA: The 2020 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination ends tomorrow, but for this year’s Form Five cohort, the anxiety is just about to kick in.

These students spent most of their Form Four academic year learning from home and are less optimistic that they will be ready for the examination this year.

The Education Ministry has not released the examination dates. However, the SPM is normally held in November.

Nurayesha Katrina Zaharoff from SMK Seri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, is already feeling the pressure as her school had not completed the Form Four syllabus.

“The closest thing to ‘revising’ our Form Four lessons this year is when the teachers discussed past years papers with us and all this did was make me anxious.

“Considering that I want to get a scholarship to study abroad, I’m starting to think that it is not possible and I can feel it slowly taking a toll on my mindset and possibly my mental health, ” she said.

Fatema Yasser of SMK (P) Sri Aman in Petaling Jaya, however, felt she would be ready as her teachers completed the Form Four syllabus last year.

She said her school managed to complete the syllabus by October and conducted revision throughout November.

She also said her teachers would always send recordings of their online lessons after class and provided extra modules and links to online quizzes so that students could revise on their own.

“My teachers have been helpful, ” she said, adding that they had hopped straight into the Form Five syllabus when the school year started.

Her schoolmate Ikha Fatima Abdul Hakim Mordani said she had been struggling to keep up with the workload and learning the new examination format since last year.

“I feel I have an average level of self-discipline and am very prone to distractions, ” she said, adding that she was looking forward to resuming face-to-face lessons next month.

National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Harry Tan said teachers would always strive to complete the syllabus “no matter what”.

However, he said many students could not attend online lessons or take part in home-based learning due to various reasons and thus could not complete their Form Four syllabus.

The Education Ministry, he said, should look into ways to help these students catch up.

“Teachers need to move forward, but at the same time, their hands are full with teaching the current year, ” he said.

Educationist Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said the ministry should go to the ground and gather input from teachers, students and the public on the best way to prepare these students for the national examinations.

“I think advice should also be sought from retired teachers, ” he said, adding that he believed teachers, with their expertise and experience, would be able to conduct revision of Form Four lessons while teaching the Form Five syllabus.

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