PETALING JAYA: The postponement of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exam dates will have a domino effect on private higher education institutions (IPTS), say private universities associations.
Enrolments would be affected and the delay would add more to the agony IPTS is already going through as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, National Association of Private Educational Institutions (Napei) said.
“There is no rationale (to postpone the exam dates) as the country is not under a national lockdown and all economic sectors are still allowed to operate.
“The Education Ministry should have instead come up with stricter standard operating procedures and carried on with the exams as scheduled,” its president Assoc Prof Elajsolan Mohan said.
January and March are the major intakes for IPTS, he said.
Due to the pandemic and resulting movement control order, he said most IPTS are making a loss and are struggling to survive.
“The government should consider the survival of the private education sector and must come up with a recovery funding for the sector,” Elajsolan said.
While the postponement in SPM exam dates is necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh echoed Napei, saying it will also impact the SPM results release date to possibly June or July 2021.
“This delay will severely impact the January to May student intakes in IPTS.
“There will be no new intakes in IPTS for up to six months next year which will negatively impact the sustainability of all IPTS in Malaysia,” he said.
Mapcu, he said, had requested the Higher Education Ministry to consider some of their suggestions to allow private universities and colleges in Malaysia to enrol affected students.
Their suggestions include, allowing students to be conditionally admitted based on their forecast result and allowing students’ school results to be used for admission.
“We also hope that the Education Ministry can release the SPM
exam results within eight weeks, compared to the present 13 to 15 weeks.
“Our intention is to support the hundreds of thousands of SPM qualified students to progress and continue their studies locally and internationally,” Parmjit added.
During a press conference yesterday, Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the SPM exams have been pushed to Feb 22 next year.
Mohd Radzi said the rescheduling of the dates will not have an effect on students’ enrolment into public higher education institutions (IPTA) as well as those who apply for admission into IPTA through the Central University Admission Unit (UPU).
The SPM was originally set to start on Jan 6.