A group of parents urged Suhakam to investigate whether the compulsory subject for the SPM exam is discriminatory against the non-Muslims.
The parents, who grouped under the movement called Morally Upright, said this after delivering a memorandum to Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Shaani Abdullah at his office today.
Also present to support their cause was Hindraf Makkal Sakthi and Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) Ipoh chapter coordinator Anwar Hassan.
The movement’s leader, SV Namasoo, said that under Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, none should be discriminated in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority.
“So why is that students studying in the same public school are required to take two different sets of paper – Islamic studies for Muslims and Moral studies for non-Muslims?”asked Namasoo.
He also urged Suhakam to investigate why good students who can score straight As for tougher subjects like Physics, Maths and Chemistry failed to deliver the same results for Moral Studies.
Citing a case study, Namasoo said that none of the about 100 non-Muslim students who sat the SPM at the SMK Tarcisian Convent in Ipoh had obtained an A+ for Moral Studies.
“Some 38 students sent their papers for a re-check but their grades were only upgraded one notch higher than their previous result. These students scored A+ for Moral studies for their trials and even scored A+ for tougher subjects such as Maths and Physics,” he said.
Namasoo said that his daughter, N Sangitha, was one of the students affected by the result.
He urged Suhakam to investigate whether the teaching and learning method for Moral Studies was formulated in an unfair manner that it discriminates against non-Muslim students.
“We need to find out whether the assessment and evaluation of the Moral Studies paper are done in a fair manner,” he said.
‘Parents have a good case’
Anwar said that it was best if the government remove the Moral Studies subject from the SPM examination but retains it as a subject taught at schools.
He also said the government must allow independent markers to conduct re-checks on the Moral Studies paper to ensure the answer sheets are marked in a fair manner.
“Students must be informed by the independent markers where they made mistakes. It’s not fair for the Malaysian Examination Council to do the re-checks arbitrarily,” said Anwar.
He reminded the government that it involved the students’ future and it should not be taken lightly.
“If you keep doing this, the students will start to believe that their results were rigged and it will sow hatred towards the government at an early age.
“So let’s re-check their papers by having a one-to-one session with the students. PAGE is willing to fork out some money to finance the expenditure,” said Anwar.
Meanwhile, Shaani said the parents have a good case and Suhakam will get to the bottom of the complaint.
“I don’t think it’s an isolated case. The relevant authorities must be transparent on this and they shouldn’t hide behind policies. This is our children’s future we’re talking about,” he said.