Priority for those sitting for exams when school reopens

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Schools will give priority to those sitting for examinations such as the SPM, STPM, STVM (vocational) and Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics (STAM) when they reopen, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

In a Teachers’ Day message telecast live, he said this would enable Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as social distancing to be followed.

“The SOPs include students’ arrival, desk arrangement and movement in class and in the canteen,” he said.

On the reopening of schools, which have remained shut since the movement control order (MCO) came into effect in March, Muhyiddin noted that the education minister had said an announcement will be made two weeks before school starts.

“This will depend on the advice of the health ministry,” he said.

Muhyiddin, a former education minister, said the Covid-19 pandemic had changed the way education was carried out in the country as there was no face-to-face interaction.

Because of this, he said, teachers were now using various methods such as Google Classroom, cikgooTUBE and Zoom to teach their students.

“Some teachers are also using Whatsapp and Telegram. I was told some are also teaching physical education online,” he said.

He said the digitalisation process would be further strengthened as a tool of education in the future, and urged teachers to pick up new skills on online teaching and home-based learning.

However, he said he was aware that some students did not have internet access, and for this group, teachers were printing out questions as homework which was sent to their homes with the help of Parent-Teacher Associations (PIBG).

The theme for this year’s Teachers’ Day is “Teach for Knowledge, Build a New Generation”, focusing on the role of teachers to build a new generation in line with the national education philosophy.

Muhyiddin thanked teachers for their contribution at national and international level, and congratulated Abd Rahman Ali of SMK Jenjarom, Selangor, for winning the National Digital Mydigitalmaker 2020 award.

He also congratulated Lee Saw Im, a chemistry teacher at SMK Seri Bintang Utara, Cheras, for receiving the Global Teacher Award 2019 and being named the “Best Science Teacher in Southeast Asia”.

PISA results show improvement but more needs to be done

On the performance in the 2019 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Muhyiddin said Malaysia’s ranking had improved significantly in Mathematics, increasing from 421 points in 2012 to 440 points last year.

“Students have also scored better in Science with 420 points in 2012 to 438 points last year,” he said.

However, the results were still below par compared to OECD countries, he said, urging them to double their efforts to improve.

“I know this will take time. That is why the 12-year National Education Development Plan was drawn up. We still have five more years to uplift the quality of education,” he said.

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