‘Too much to bear’ for most

PETALING JAYA: Students are worried that a resit is on the cards following news that the SPM History Paper 2 had been leaked.

A video purportedly showing leaked questions of Paper 2 of SPM History went viral after the exam for the subject was held.

Students who sat for the paper yesterday claimed that what was said in the video matched what appeared in the paper.

One of the candidates, who wanted to be known only as Cherry, said she dreaded the prospect of resitting the paper for a subject that was known to be tough.

“Most students are already facing a very hard time having had the SPM delayed for so long, and a lot of us stayed up all night just to cram all the information into our heads, ” said the Kedahan.

“It would be unfair and bad for our health to make us go through that again.”

The SPM, SVM (Sijil Vokasional Malaysia) and STAM (Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia) examinations are usually held in November but last year, they were deferred to January this year and then to Feb 22 after a spike in Covid-19 cases forced schools to be closed.

Cherry said that a few hours after returning home from the exam, which ended at 12.30pm, she was sent a video of someone, allegedly a teacher, telling a class the topics that would be coming out together with their corresponding question numbers.

“What was said in the video matched what appeared in History Paper 2 that bears the code 1249/2, ” she said, adding that she did not receive the leaked questions before the paper that began at 9.30am.

The 24-second clip appears to be taken by a student in a classroom with desks spaced far apart.

A message showing the list of topics to be covered in the structured and essay portions of the paper has also been circulated on WhatsApp groups.

Among the topics listed are Resistance in Perak (Penentangan di Perak), Maritime, and Vision 2020 (Wawasan 2020).

Another candidate, Amanda Nathan, lamented the negative impact a resit would have on their mental health.

“Of course, we’re not going to like the idea (of resitting the paper). It’s already been too much (for us to bear), ” she said.

Although she conceded that it was unfair that some candidates might have prior knowledge of the questions, she felt that having to resit the paper might result in a delay in releasing the results, leading to a delay in tertiary education enrolment.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said a thorough investigation should be conducted but hoped the Education Ministry would spare the SPM 2020 exam candidates a resit.

She agreed that the candidates have weathered a challenging year.

“The last time there was a leak, a full investigation was conducted but no one was charged, ” she said.

“As a result, students continue to be plagued by this and even now during a pandemic. This is a time for reflection, not dishonesty.”

Describing the purported leak as frustrating, Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education chairman Mak Chee Kin echoed Noor Azimah’s call to not have a resit.

“Students are already stressed in preparing for the exams, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If the leakage is not widespread, there shouldn’t be a resit.

“However, action must be taken to trace the source and the culprit(s) punished severely, ” he said.

As at press time, attempts to get the Education Ministry for comment were unsuccessful.

History is one of the compulsory subjects for the national exam. A total of 401,105 students are currently taking the SPM 2020 exam.

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