SPM 2020 candidates suggest e-learning improvements to benefit future batches

PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 has robbed SPM 2020 candidates of many meaningful milestones in the final year of their secondary school journey such as prom, graduation events and now, the experience of collecting their SPM result slips in person.

When the results come out on Thursday (June 10), SPM 2020 candidates will be the first batch to miss out on the heart-thumping experience of going to school to be with teachers and classmates on result day.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all schools have closed nationwide during the lockdown until June 14 and so students would only be able to access their results online or via SMS.

Although they are missing out on this exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experience, the young ones are taking it in their stride and are willing to do their part to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Looking back at 2020 which saw students missing out on vital in-person learning for most of the year, SPM 2020 candidates hope that the government can help the next batch to be better prepared.

Sally Dinie Lim, 18, said the Education Ministry should decide on one platform for online learning, instead of letting teachers or students use any platform they wish.

“For example, teacher A wants to use Zoom but teacher B wants Google Meet. It burdens students who don’t really have the privilege in the form of devices or Internet access.

“The ministry should choose one platform where everything can be accessed through one app or website.

“For example on Discord, meetings, group chats or even quizzes can be done on the same platform,” she said.

Dinie added that the government should also observe how schools conduct their online sessions, as every teacher and school has their own teaching method.

“The government should observe how effective it is,” said Dinie, who plans to further her studies in economics.

The student, who resides in Puchong, Selangor, could not deny feeling sad at having to miss out on the experience of collecting her SPM results in person at school on Thursday.

“I couldn’t feel how all of my seniors felt but in retrospect, it’s for our own good as Covid-19 cases are rising and it’s not worth taking the risk to make it offline.

“Like it or not, this is what we have to face.

“I believe that God doesn’t give us what we want but God will give us what we need and I believe better things are coming for my batch.

“So shout out to yourself for making it this far, don’t worry too much and stay safe,” she said.

Yeoh Cheng Yen, a student from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, suggested making sure students follow the class timetable and attend virtual classes just as they would if they were in school.

“Last year, some teachers did not conduct face-to-face learning which resulted in them just giving us homework without us getting the knowledge beforehand.

“Therefore, I hope teachers would follow the class timetable strictly and conduct online classes accordingly,” said the 18-year-old.

Having to attend online classes at home was challenging, said Yeoh, adding that there were constant distractions by gadgets leading to less time being spent on SPM preparations.

“Teachers did not know how to conduct studies efficiently online as they were new to the system too, so we did not gain as much knowledge as we would have attending physical classes,” said Yeoh.

Like most SPM candidates, Yeoh felt sad about missing out on so many things during their final year of secondary school.

“We did not have our class trip, we did not have any co-curriculum activities, we also didn’t have many classes which made us unable to meet and enjoy our last year together.

“Now, we can’t even experience the excitement of getting our results together, congratulating or consoling each other.

“It’s really, really regrettable because these things only happen once in a lifetime and we don’t have the opportunity to experience it like the rest.

“I feel really sad and unfairly treated but what can we do considering there are still lives lost out there amidst the pandemic,” said Yeoh, who plans to study biochemistry.

“I hope to become a researcher and contribute to society so pandemics like this won’t happen again.”

Wong Zhu Yi, a student from Batu Berendam, Melaka, said at first, converting to hybrid learning made him upset and unable to focus on preparations for the SPM.

“It took time for me to adapt. Fortunately, I managed to overcome this in a short period and focus on my studies because the government postponed SPM 2020,” said Wong.

Although Wong felt that the postponement gave him enough time to prepare for the SPM, like many others, the 17-year-old did not have high expectations for his results.

Having gone through hybrid learning, Wong suggested that the government provide a WiFi spot for teachers but under strict standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance.

“This WiFi spot is to make sure that teachers can deliver what they want to teach clearly without disruption to their Internet connection.

“This is because some of my teachers had Internet connection issues when teaching in their own homes, so my classmates and I were unable to clearly get what our teachers wanted to share.

“It made us waste a lot of time asking questions after the online class,” said Wong.

Although he would miss out on the experience of collecting his SPM results at school and being able to see former teachers and schoolmates, he felt that he could accept the situation.

“This is the only way to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

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