A total of 401,105 students nationwide will sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2020 examination today as the country continues facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides their pens and knowledge, the candidates will also be required to bring face shields to the examination halls to prevent the spread of the virus.
Today, candidates will sit for the Bahasa Melayu 1 and 2 papers, which start at 8am and 2pm.
The Form 5 students, including those sitting for the Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) examination, are the first group to sit for the SPM examination under the new normal.
A total of 3,310 SPM examination centres have been set up nationwide and disinfected in accordance with the guidelines and SOPs set by the National Security Council and the health ministry.
Candidates are required to submit a health declaration form before entering the examination hall each day. They must also undergo temperature checks and wear face masks for the duration of the examination.
Those who test positive for Covid-19 or who are instructed to undergo quarantine because they are close contacts, will not be allowed to sit for the examination on that day. They must produce certified documents to enable them to sit for a rescheduled examination.
A total of 48,014 examination invigilators will be on duty to ensure that the prescribed SOPs are fully complied with during the examination period, scheduled to last until March 25.
The candidates today have also gone through the longest annual SPM class session of almost 14 months due to Covid-19 as they were forced to switch to online learning.
The SPM, SVM and STAM examinations are usually held in November, but the 2020 examinations were deferred to January 2021 and then to February 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that forced the closure of schools.