Rajiv: Where is the COVID-19 mitigation plan for SPM, STPM students?

A Selangor state assemblyman has queried the Federal Government on what are their plans to ensure students taking SPM and STPM examinations remain safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Till now, the Government has yet to announce the standard operating procedure (SOP) on how to conduct the examinations but our children are already attending schools,” Rajiv Rishyakaran told FocusM.

Yesterday, the media was abuzz over news that 86 Mara Junior College (MRSM) candidates for SPM have been placed under quarantine after one of them was tested positive for COVID-19.

In Sabah, the state government has taken matters into their own hands by making it compulsory for students to undergo testing before returning to their hostels.

As a result, 36 students were found to have contracted COVID-19 and has been quarantined, at low-risk centres.

Rajiv Rishyakaran

Voicing his concern over the matter, Rajiv said that as of yesterday, over 400,000 SPM and STPM students have returned to schools, without proper screening measures put in place.

“It is only day one of back-to-school and already 86 students have been placed under quarantine. Where are the rest of the quarantine centres and are they enough to accommodate infected students?

“Will students, who are confirmed infected and those in quarantine, continue to sit for SPM and STPM? If so, how? The Education Ministry must answer all this,” said the Bukit Gasing lawmaker.

He added that the Government should make it a priority to test the students before allowing them back to school, in order not to expose others to the coronavirus.

“The Prime Minister recently announced the Permai stimulus pakckage worth RM15 bil. If it’s true that the priority of this package is to ‘protect the rakyat’ and ‘combat the COVID-19 outbreak’, then where is the allocation to safeguard our students?

“Certainly, the RM35.4 mil allocation to build three community halls in Pagoh, Johor could be better spent in ensuring the safety of our children, “Rajiv mocked, referring to the allocation given to build the halls at the premier’s constituency, which drew ire even from the latter’s allies.

On that note, Rajiv urged the Education Ministry to announce their mitigation plans; to ensure students can sit for the national exams while keeping safe from the pandemic.

“While I understand many quarters, including parents, want students to sit for the exams as they have made much preparation, we still need answers from the Government.

“It’s simple. Tell us what the mitigation plan is. If it’s good, then let’s proceed. If not, it’s better for us to postpone the exam to another date,” he added. – Jan 21, 2021

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE