Stay Calm Students, No Exams in 2020!

The government’s decision to postpone SPM and cancel the UPSR and PT3 exams because of the coronavirus has been well-received.

stay calm students, no exams in 2020!Photo: Selangor Kini

Cheryl Ann Fernando – country director for Global School Leaders Malaysia – told us the announcement addresses quite a number of concerns.

She says with the exams now out of the way, students and teachers can make the necessary changes to adjust to the new normal.

“I think schools can really focus on learning. They can focus on reaching out to students to help them to get on board with e-learning. Students also have a lot of time to prepare at home before sitting for major exams next year. I think this will give a lot of time for teachers to be super creative to think of different ways of assessment and for students themselves to get into the new normal of learning.”

Cheryl also suggested some measures for the government to adopt to address accessibility to the internet and computers among students…

“One of the things the government can start doing is work with different corporate companies, to provide students with data and devices. I think the digital divide is larger than ever now and we need to ensure equal opportunities among our students. Also, I think the government needs to work with schools to see what is the most realistic solution to provide students access to internet and devices.”

She also shared with us on how teachers are coping during this period…

“I’ve seen teachers now reach out to students through Telegram and Whatsapp. Yesterday, we had a school, which even conducted a virtual PIBG meeting. A lot of teachers are learning as they go along and they’re finding new ways to do things. So I think this is going to be a great start to kick off e-learning in our country. I’m really impressed at how creative our teachers are, some of them have even set up e-counselling.”

Cheryl says we cannot assume that things will be the same, when schools reopens…

“It’s going to take a while for schools to adjust to this (new normal). But I think it will be great, if schools can go slow and use the time when they first open to talk to students about their experience, feelings, and to also reach out to see the mental wellbeing of their students before jumping straight into learning. We also need to set in place new standards of hygiene.”

Schools across the country have been closed since mid-March as the government fights to contain the spread of Covid-19, and the Education Ministry says schools will only re-open once it’s absolutely safe for students.

By: Roshini Ravindran