An open letter to Education Ministry

I have to say that it is not easy to come up with any decision during this difficult times. So as the decision by the Education Ministry to cancel UPSR and PT3 and defer all major examinations. I believe it was done accordingly.

However, I see it from a different perspective. I am of the opinion that KPM must produce a more comprehensive exit strategy which contains various creative solutions.

The Channel News Asia had on Apr 15 reported that an intermittent circuit breakers could serve as the main outlet to be considered by all nations. This means that the Movement Control Order (MCO) will not be as effective on one implementation. Maybe it could be carried on ‘switch on and switch off’ strategy.

Having such a scenario, we must exhaust all ways before cancelling the UPSR and PT3. We must face the fact that even though the MCO is now a measure, the learning and assessment methods are important aspects of our education system. The only issue is, it can be carried out differently during this difficult time without nullifying it.

In countries badly affected by Covid-19 like the Germany, they decided to re-open schools on May 4 in stages with priority given to cohort sitting for examinations. This is also the case in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other countries.

Maybe we should give it a thought as to enable students sitting for major examinations be given due consideration to attend classes at schools or given an option to sit for the examination online.

It is true that almost 40 per cent of them do not possess the online apparatus. That is why we must have a solution to replace such apparatus by allowing them to sit for the exam at schools. Many areas in Malaysia are under the green zone, notably the rural. We also have the mechanism to detect red zones.

Those in the green zones can be considered to sit for exam as scheduled. Those in the red zones and its suburbs should be allowed to defer it and sit for it later. In this difficult time, our solution must not be based on one size fits all. In that manner, those in the green zones probably can resume study under a comprehensive hygienic and social distancing order.

There is no stopping to education in any circumstances. It is our main source to our civilisation and self-resilience. That applies to our higher education system. Any delay to the admission and study are counter-productive as it can be done online.

Foreign universities with campuses in Malaysia and the private higher learning institutes have already moved to online registration and study under a well-structured guidelines. Education in classrooms will resume when the pandemic is fully-contained, which we dont know when.

As such, new registration at all institutions of higher learning must take place on time. Matriculation centers and the IPTAs have no valid excuse not to operate online with seamless touch.

Malaysia must win the war against Covid-19 and continues with the education system under various new normalcy.

Having said this, I urge the Education Ministry to guide our young generation to fight tooth and nail against the pandemic through strong determination, creativity and will under the existing education system, and in a different ambient.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin
UMNO Vice-President

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