The 2021 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exam for students in Form Five will be held in February and March next year in light of the disruptions to school sessions due to the spread of Covid-19.
Education Minister Radzi Jidin said the oral exams and practical tests for science would take place in February while the written exams would be held in March.
“The education ministry made this decision taking into account the current situation and challenges faced by the candidates for SPM 2021,” he said at a press conference today.
“Our experience in managing SPM 2020 allows us to shift the exam period for 2021 to 2022. We are confident that all processes related to SPM 2021 will go smoothly, as was the case with SPM 2020.”
When asked about the possibility of allowing schools to open for students taking examinations, Radzi said: “If schools are opened, pupils sitting for exams will be given priority to attend classes face to face.”
On claims by the Pakatan Harapan education committee that the government had failed to manage SPM last year, he said the situation then had required in-depth study including on the aspects of physical distancing, the number of staff on duty and schedules for lunch.
“After that, we looked into how to carry out the marking process,” he said. “Previously, teachers gathered at certain places.
“We decided that for SPM 2020, for the first time, SPM exam papers would be checked online. More than five million exam papers needed to be scanned.”
He said judging from the time needed to release the SPM results last year, results could be issued more quickly than in pre-pandemic years.
“For this year, SPM certificates will be printed a month after the results are out.
“This shows that during this short period of time, we have achieved great success in ensuring improvements to SPM 2020.”