Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, parents and students want a better SPM exam plan.
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With the number of Covid-19 cases rising close to the 20,000 mark, parents and students want the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination to be postponed to April 2022.
The SPM exams were set to take place in March. However, there are concerns that the fear of infection will affect the students’ psychological well-being and their exam preparation.
The current students taking SPM are the first batch under the new Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah syllabus too.
There have been cases of students not being allowed to take the SPM Bahasa Malaysia Bertutur test (oral examination) because they were Covid-19 positive, as reported by New Straits Times.
Since the Health Ministry says the Omicron wave will peak by late March, some parents think postponing the SPM exams by a month will be a great relief for worried students.
There was a change.org petition titled ‘Postpone SPM 2021 as Covid Cases are Rising’ and it received more than 1,000 signatures since it was launched four days ago.
The students believed that sitting for the SPM exams next month will impact their mental and physical wellbeing.
They have begun their oral examinations on Tuesday and it’s scheduled to run until 24 February. The written examinations are to start from 2 to 29 March.
Prepare contingency plans instead
On another note, some parents think there should be contingency plans instead of postponing the SPM exams.
Parents such as Mohd Nizam Md Rashid and his wife, Azwan Shaiza Nizam, told New Straits Times that they think the current situation is all right.
Despite this, they still have concerns for the schools’ support system and said teachers and janitors should be regularly tested to prevent spreading infection in schools.
They believe the authorities should prepare contingency plans in case any exam candidate tested positive during the exams.
They added that these contingency plans should be well thought out and announced in advance to ensure everyone is well informed and to avoid panic.
Parent Action Group for Education president Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim proposed another solution that can be worked out.
She stressed the onus on the examination authorities is to make sure students affected by Covid-19 aren’t left behind.
She said the authorities should ensure that students who are affected by Covid-19, directly or indirectly, will be still able to sit for the exams without much inconvenience.
Some of the solutions she proposed are:
- Delaying some examinations if the students are in quarantine.
- Conducting the examination online, although it may be more tedious for the Examination Syndicate for some papers.
- In an online examination scenario, higher security will be needed to make sure the question papers are not leaked.
Azimah understands that parents are vocal in raising their concerns because their children might get infected while sitting for examinations.
However, she pointed out that the current scenario is vastly different from a year ago since most students are vaccinated now.
As such, the students who are infected but vaccinated may experience a mild version of Covid-19.