Smooth start to SPM 2020 amid tight SOPs

KUALA LUMPUR: The 401,105 candidates sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2020 will go down in history as the first batch of fifth formers to sit for the much-delayed public examination in the new norm, as the country was laid low by the coronavirus pandemic.

The examination conducted with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) started off with Bahasa Melayu Paper 1 and 2 at 8 am and 2 pm respectively today, with 8,014 invigilators deployed to maintain proper conduct of examination sessions including full compliance of the SOPs.

Besides having to go through the longest annual SPM class session for almost 14 months, this batch of SPM candidates had been forced to switch to online learning via applications such as Google Meet, Google Classroom and Skype.

These SPM candidates as well as those sitting for the Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) being conducted at the 3,310 centres in a new normal environment are required to submit a completed health declaration form every day before they enter the examination hall.

A check by Bernama at schools nationwide, saw groups of students wearing face masks already lining up to have their body temperatures taken, as early as 6.30am.

In SELANGOR, Deputy Education Minister Muslimin Yahaya was satisfied with the SOP compliance at Yoke Kuan National Type Secondary School (SMK), Sekinchan, when he was there to monitor the situation.

He said for this year’s SPM, the school has also provided preparation, isolation and quarantine rooms for students’ convenience.

In NEGERI SEMBILAN, 16,554 students are sitting for the examination at 151 centres and during a visit to SMK Senawang, twins Suhaila Md Zahar and Suhaili Md Zahar, 17, who stood out among the crowd said, though they were all nerves, this would not stop them from doing their best as they aspire to be among the outstanding performers this year.

In MELAKA, 13,464 candidates will sit for the examination at 102 examination centres across the state.

IN JOHOR BAHRU, 175 SMK Perempuan Sultan Ibrahim (SIGS) students are among the 49,472 candidates taking the examination at 366 centres in Johor.

Kumpulan Penggerak Ibu bapa, Komuniti dan Swasta (KPIKS) chairman Datuk Yahya Jaafar when met at SIGS said, he was pleased with the detailed preparations made and was confident the examination would run smoothly at the school.

In GEORGE TOWN, 19,919 students including private candidates have registered for the examination being conducted at 151 centres in Penang.

In TERENGGANU, State Education Department director Salim Ab Ghani said 18,743 candidates are sitting for the examination and 1,427 invigilators have been deployed at the 169 centres.

In PERAK, 33,075 candidates are sitting for the examination at 327 centres and a check at SMK Anderson, Ipoh, saw several parents dropping off their children, while the students looked excited and eager to enter the school grounds.

In KELANTAN, the pandemic disruption to learning has not dampened the spirit of the 27,719 SPM candidates as most appeared happy and enthusiastic as they came to sit for their papers at the 285 centres statewide.

In PAHANG, 20,765 students including 672 private candidates are sitting for the examination at the state’s 226 centres.

Meanwhile, in KEDAH, the SPM examination started off smoothly as 29,936 candidates sat for the first subject paper at 263 centres in the state.

In PERLIS, education exco Rozieana Ahmad expressed hope that the 3,974 candidates in the state would be in high spirits as they sit for the examination in strict adherence to the SOPs.

In PUTRAJAYA, 1,616 SPM students along with 110 private candidates are sitting for the examination at 11 schools in the Federal Territory. Several teachers and police personnel were seen monitoring students as they entered the schools to ensure compliance with SOPs.

In LABUAN 1, 227 students including 140 private candidates registered at the 14 examination centres to sit for their first paper today.

Meanwhile, Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin in a post on his official Facebook page said, he was at SMK Saujana Impian in Kajang with Education Ministry’s Examination Syndicate director, Datuk Pkharuddin Ghazali this morning, to monitor the school and students’ SOP compliance.

Everything was done in an orderly manner and the examination went on smoothly, he said.

“Today is the first day of the SPM and SVM examinations, in which the candidates will sit for Bahasa Melayu Paper 1. The examination this year is very different from previous years.

“To all sitting for the SPM and SVM 2020 examinations I wish you all the best. My thoughts and prayers are with you,” he said. – Bernama