SPM candidates worry over exams and pandemic

Extra concerns: (From left) Natasha, Parvinash and Kirannyah shared their thoughts on exam preparations.Extra concerns: (From left) Natasha, Parvinash and Kirannyah shared their thoughts on exam preparations.

SEREMBAN: Natasha Nathan will be sitting for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam next month but shivers at the thought of having to go back to school today as the nation continues to register record high number of Covid-19 positive cases.

The 17-year-old of mixed parentage feels although the SPM is important, going back to school at this stage is risky.

“As someone who lives with high-risk individuals, I shudder at the thought of returning to school now.

“SPM is important but not so important that I must put my family members or myself at risk.

“I wish the Education Ministry hears the voices of youths who are going to have to go through this, ” she added.

Asked if she is ready to sit for the examination after months of studying online, Natasha said she is but she is still prepared to wait a few months till the situation is brought under control.

“As much as I want for SPM to be over, I want to be able to do it properly and without the threat of Covid-19 dangling over my head.

“So, if I have to wait a few months, so be it.

“There has to be some other way of conducting the examination without risking our nation’s healthcare system that is already reaching its breaking point, ” she said.

Student Parvinash Paramaswaran is also afraid of going back to school for face-to-face lessons.

The 17-year-old, who will also be sitting for the SPM, said he is also ill-prepared for the exam due to the online lessons.

“It has been really stressful preparing for SPM as online classes are certainly not as effective as attending lessons physically.

“I feel the online lessons were also brief and I personally could not make the best out of it, ” he added.

The plus point for Parvinash is that he has already sat for the SPM trial exams in his school in October last year.

But he wasn’t too happy with his results.

“I would have done better if there were regular face-to face classes, ” he said, adding that some students also had a hard time getting used to online lessons when they were first introduced.

Parvinash expressed hope that the ministry would decide soonest if the SPM exam would be held as scheduled due to the spike in number of infections in recent days.

“What is clear is that we need more time to prepare for SPM. At the same time, it is very unsettling not knowing if the exams will be held as scheduled, ” he said.

Student A. Kirannyah, who is looking forward to going back to school, hopes the SPM exam will be held as scheduled next month.

The teenager, who has been following online tuition classes apart from school lessons, feels the exam should not be deferred again.

“Face-to-face lessons are always better and that is why we need to go back to school so that we can attend physical lessons to better prepare for the SPM.

“We have been preparing and studying hard for the past two years and we should not postpone the exam again, ” she said.

Kirannyah and her schoolmates sat for some subjects during the trial exams last October but could not finish all papers after the schools were closed due to the pandemic.

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