Alternative SPM assessment needed

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING: The education ministry was told to find alternatives to assess students for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination.

Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen said the current Covid-19 situation with the high number of cases nationwide is unsafe to hold the public examination that is slated for Feb 22.

He pointed out while SPM was an important method of assessing the knowledge of the students, there were also other assessment methods that could be adopted, adding that other examinations are facing similar challenges.

“Even international examinations like the O-Level, A-Level and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in May and June 2020 were cancelled last year due to Covid-19.

“If the boards of such international examinations can cancel the examinations and substitute them with other assessment methods, I can’t see why the Ministry of Education cannot formulate other tests to substitute the 2020 SPM exams,” he said.

The Stampin MP said the ministry has to come up with measures to cope with the situation at hand, pointing out that the country is currently in an extraordinary time.

“The incessant postponements of the 2020 SPM examination 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,” he said today.

He also called upon the ministry to implement an alternative assessment measure so that the students can proceed with their further study without unnecessary delays and hardship.

“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,” he said.