JOHOR BARU: The SPM preparation workshop organised by an elite all-girls school here was meant to be for all students regardless of race, says the Education Ministry.
In a statement, the Ministry said that there were no discriminatory elements involved in the workshop and that there were supposed to be two sessions.
"Early reports found that the workshop was one of the many initiatives of the relevant parties to ensure that students, regardless of race, were able to make the necessary preparations for SPM.
"The first session was held earlier on Jan 19 and 20 in a hotel and involved some 30 SPM candidates who failed Bahasa Melayu and History subjects as well as those who received 'gagal-lulus' (fail-passed) in some other subjects.
"The workshop was held separately based on sessions to avoid disturbing candidates who were preparing for Chinese New Year.
"The Ministry was informed that the follow up session for other students was slated to be held between Jan 26 and 27 at the same hotel," it said in a statement here on Tuesday (Jan 24).
It added that however, there was a need for the school to improve communication to avoid such an incident from happening again.
Earlier, tweets alleging that the school had organised an SPM workshop just for its Muslim students had gone viral garnering a strong reaction from the public.
Twitter user @sangria200 had tweeted that the school had held a two days-one night SPM workshop for its Muslim students at a hotel, saying that it would only involve religious-related subjects.
"However, it turned out to be a comprehensive workshop covering subjects such as Chemistry, Additional Mathematics and other subjects," said @sangria200.
"Apparently, it was paid by a donor. Non-muslims students were left out and not even informed about the workshop," she added.
She noted that the school's Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) had sent queries from parents to the principal involved and was waiting for an answer.
Her tweets have since made rounds on social media, gathering over 800 retweets and over 1,000 likes in less than 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim said that he had also received complaints of the issue from parents who were disappointed with the school.
"What happened in the school is much regretted and is not in line with the Malaysia Madani vision.
"There should not be any discrimination based on race or religion in schools. I hope that the Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek will take the matter seriously," he said in a statement.