Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it is obvious that most examinations will have to be rescheduled or even cancelled. However, you might be wondering: What about the major ones?

Well, the government has announced the postponement of SPM and STPM, as well as the cancellation of the Year 6 Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR).

Candidates will sit for the 2020 SPM examination during the first quarter of 2021; whereas the STPM Semester 2 examination date has been changed to August 2020, and the Semester 3 examination will be held in the first quarter of next year. The examination results are expected to be released much later. Of course, new examination dates would also affect the dates for university intakes.

Alternative measures will be taken to evaluate the students who were supposed to take the UPSR and PT3 examinations. “Seeing as UPSR results are one of the criteria for entrance into many schools, the ministry will introduce new methods which are not just focused on academics,” said Education Minister Radzi Jidin. He added that the same measures will apply to PT3.

What exactly are these methods? Some sources say that school-based assessments could replace these major exams. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs social policy research manager Wan Ya Shin said that national examinations that covers fewer topics could still be done if the situation stabilises very soon. However, this may be difficult if the Movement Control Order (MCO) prolongs, since social distancing is still required after that.

The decision on the method to evaluate students might depend on how long the MCO will last. The government will very likely come up with ways to solve this problem if different scenarios occur.

On the other hand, most parents have a positive outlook regarding the Ministry’s decision. The majority are glad that the exams are going to be cancelled, as they believe that the decision was made for the good of the children and agree that their health and safety is the top priority. Yet some find it sad or even frustrating, but try to look on the bright side as well.

What are your opinions on this? Do you feel the same as most of the parents, or worried about it all? Feel free to leave a comment, regardless of your feelings.