Consider Alternative Measures In Lieu Of SPM

1110

Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:

Can the Ministry of Education (MOE) hold the 2020 SPM Exams on 22-2-2021 as scheduled? This is the question one needs to ask. If not, how many postponements will have to be made before the 2020 SPM Exams can be held?

If we go by the previous records of Covid-19 cases before the MOE made its first and second announcements for postponements, surely, it will not be safe to proceed with the SPM Exams as scheduled on 22-2-2021.

On June 28, 2020, when MOE first announced the postponement of SPM to Jan 6 to Feb 9 2021, the 2 weeks preceding the announcement ie. 14th– 27thJune, the daily new Covid-19 cases are as follows:

14/6 (8), 15/6 (41), 16/6 (11), 17/6 (10), 18/6 (14), 19/6 (6), 20/6 (21), 21/6 (16), 22/6 (15), 23/6 (3), 24/6 (6), 25/6 (4), 26/6 (6), 27/6 (10)

On November, 7, 2020, MOE announced that SPM Examinations will be postponed a second time to 22 February, 2021. The 2 weeks preceding the announcement, i.e., 24/10 to 6/11, the Malaysia’s daily new Covid-19 cases are as follows:

24/10 (1,228), 25/10 (823), 26/10 (1,240), 27/10 (835), 28/10 (801), 29/10 (649), 30/10 (799), 31/10 (659), 1/11 (957), 2/11 (834), 3/11 (1,054), 4/11 (1,032), 5/11 (1,009), 6/11 (1,755),

For the past 14 days, i.e. from 23/12/2020 to 5/1/2021, the daily new Covid-19 cases are as follows:

23/12 (1,348), 24/12 (1,581), 25/12 (1,247), 26/12 (2,335), 27/12 (1,196), 28/12 (1,594), 29/12 (1,925), 30/12 (1,870), 31/12 (2,525),1/1/21 (2,068), 2/1/21 (2,295), 3/1/21 (1,704), 4/1/21 (1,741) and 5/1/21 (2,072).

The numbers have escalated from double-digit new cases at the time of the first postponement, to triple-digit new cases at the time of the second postponement to now 4-digit new cases daily.

While the SPM Examinations is an important method of assessing the knowledge of the students, there are also other assessment methods that can be adopted. Even the international examinations like the IGCSE, O Level and A Level examinations in May and June 2020 were cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. If the boards of such international examinations can cancel the examinations and substitute other assessment methods with examinations, I can’t see why the MOE of Malaysia cannot formulate other tests to substitute the 2020 SPM Exams for the issuance of the SPM Certificates.

We are in extraordinary time. The MOE has to come up with measures to cope with the situation without putting the students to great risk. The incessant postponements of the 2020 SPM Exams are just not the solution to the problem. Forcing them to go to the exam halls to sit through the exams in this Covid-19 pandemic is also not the solution.

It is easy for those critics to insist on having the SPM exams, but one has to put himself in the shoes of the students and the mental stress and anxiety that they are put through under the present circumstances.

Therefore, I call upon the MOE to quickly implement an alternative assessment measure so that the students can proceed with their further study without unnecessary delays and hardship.

6-1-2021
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman