MOE hopes classrooms reserved for SPM examination not be used as polling stations

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 18 — The Ministry of Education (MOE) will discuss with the Election Commission (EC) not to use classrooms reserved for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination as polling stations in the Johor state election (PRN) on March 12.

Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said the MOE has agreed with the Election Commission’s (EC) need to use 151 secondary schools in Johor as polling centres but the use of classrooms during the state election should be minimised so as not to disrupt the SPM examination scheduled to take place from March 2 to 29.

“The classrooms have been arranged by the schools according to index of students’ names and assigned number. Any disruption on the arrangement can give a big implication because this year’s SPM examination is not like the previous years,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after launching Yayasan Didik Negara (YDN) here today, Radzi said Education director-general Datin Seri Nor Zamani Abdol Hamid had discussed with the relevant school principals yesterday to ensure the SPM examination process would go well during the state election.

The EC has fixed March 12 as polling day for the state polls, with nominations on Feb 26 and early voting on March 8.

Radzi said the MOE would also ask the EC to exempt teachers involved with the SPM examination as invigilators, examination officers or paper examiners, from working as election staff, adding that these teachers needed to focus on the implementation of the examination.

“This SPM examination is important for parents and the candidates because the 2021 cohort is the most affected group by the new curriculum approach. They did not go to school for two years,” he said.

On the standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the examination, Radzi said the same SOPs that were implemented last year would be used including candidates who test positive for COVID-19 would not be allowed to sit for the paper on that day, instead, they would sit for the paper on a new date set by the MOE.

In addition, each school that is designated as an SPM exam centre provides an early isolation room for candidates who test positive for the virus while sitting for the exam.

Meanwhile, he said candidates tagged as close contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases are required to submit a letter from the MOH stating that they need to be quarantined, adding that these candidates would sit for the paper on a new date.

On YDN, Radzi said the foundation serves as the official body responsible for mobilising contributions from various parties and distributing them to schools more systematically.

He said YDN had received contributions of more than RM20 million in cash and goods since it was registered in July last year.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency