PUTRAJAYA, April 15 – The decision to reopen schools will only be made when the situation is truly back to normal, said Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.
He said the ministry understood that parents were concerned that they would not be able to make appropriate arrangements if a sudden announcement was made on the reopening of schools.
“Parents need not worry. The ministry will continue to engage with the Ministry of Health to fix an appropriate date for the reopening of schools.
“The Ministry of Education will make the announcement about the reopening at least two weeks in advance,” he said at a press conference here today.
He said at this stage, the reopening will only involve classes for public examinations comprising Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM), as well as corresponding international examinations.
Mohd Radzi said that when schools reopen, all aspects concerning safety, cleanliness and the prevention of COVID-19 transmissions, including the practice of social distancing, will be prioritised.
“Apart from that, the Education Ministry has held in-depth discussions with the Health Ministry and the National Security Council on the reopening of schools,” he said.
Post-MCO guidelines on school management been prepared
The Education Ministry, he said, had also prepared post-Movement Control Order (MCO) guidelines on the management of schools which must be referred to by school authorities and parents to ensure the smooth running, and that teaching and learning are undertaken in a safe environment.
The minister said the issue concerning schools involved almost all segments of society, and in this connection, the Education Ministry had undertaken several discussions through various channels to get the viewpoints of parents, teachers and others.
“In general, the feedback from these sessions clearly indicated that the safety and health of students must be prioritised,” he said.
No UPSR, PT3, SPM & SVM
No Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3), Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) examinations will be held this year.
The Education Minister also announced that this year’s UPSR and PT3 examinations slated for September and early October have been cancelled, while SPM and SVM examinations slated for October and early November, have been postponed to the first quarter of 2021.
He said the cancellation of the UPSR will not affect the assessment of students after attending primary education as the assessment could be done through various means.
“As the result of UPSR is one of the criteria for admission to full boarding schools (SBP), Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama (SMKA), Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) and Royal Military College (RMC), the MOE will introduce new method for this purpose, which is not solely focused on academic performance.
“The cancellation of the PT3 examination will also not affect the assessment of the performance of students in the lower secondary level. A new assessment method will be introduced. The result from this assessment will be used as one of the criteria for admission to specific schools such as full-boarding or technical schools,” he said.
Nevertheless, the minister stressed that, in any case, the students’ access to teaching and learning process will remain a priority.
Mohd Radzi said the decision applies to all government schools, government-aided schools, private schools and any educational institution registered with the MOE.
“Schools which are not registered with the MOE are also encouraged to follow this decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said for Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), the examination date for Semester 2 has been changed to August, while the examination for Semester 3 will be held in the first quarter of 2021.
The Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) will also be held in the first quarter of next year.
“Realising that the postponement of the examination dates will affect the admission to tertiary institutions, the MOE and the Ministry of Higher Education have agreed to also postpone the date of admission to tertiary institutions for foundation, matriculation and diploma programmes to July or August 2021, while for degree programmes to September or October 2021,” he added.