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Malaysia Has Mixed Feelings About The New 2020 Academic Calendar

Malaysia Has Mixed Feelings About The New 2020 Academic Calendar

Akmal Hakim

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With secondary school seniors in Form 5 and Form 6 returning to school on Wednesday (June 24), the Education Ministry yesterday (June 23) announced revisions to the 2020 school year calendar.

The new academic calendar basically shortens 2020’s mid-term and year-end break for the school year, following the unexpected school “break” due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Reportedly, students have spent some 56 days of “homeschooling” during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, with students, parents, and teachers having to overcome many different challenges to allow for education to continue.

Mid-term break will now be five days instead of nine for schools across the country.

Meanwhile, year-end break will be reduced to 14 days from the previous 42 days for states in Group A (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu), and from 41 day to 13 days for schools in Group B (Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya), bringing 2020’s academic year to 168 days in total.

However, it appears that the new academic calendar is being greeted with mixed reviews.

Former Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik claims that he has been receiving complaints directly from teachers who disagree with the decision to shorten school breaks.

Dr. Maszlee explained that the government should be more attentive to the needs of educators and make them more involved in the decision making process.

The opinion was shared by the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) who urged the government to reassess its new calendar, feeling that MOE had rushed its decision without consulting or informing members of the union.

Meanwhile, according to The Star, seniors who are set on taking their SPM and STPM exams appear to be satisfied with the changed school calendar with several students agreeing that the new calendar would give them more time to study, counseling with their teachers and better prepare for tests.

A look through social media also revealed varied opinions on the new academic calendar.

While some agree that the decision to reduce school break was adequate considering the long absence of physical school sessions since the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

However, others were concerned about the adverse impact that the new calendar would have on teachers and students.


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