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Fatimah: Only board can determine if students fit to sit for exam

KUCHING: Schools have been told not to deprive their students of the chance to sit for public examinations if they are registered with the Malaysia Examination Board (MEB).

Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datin Fatimah Abdullah said as far as MEB was concerned, all students of secondary and primary schools who were registered for public examinations should not be kept out.

“This is the ruling, unlike in universities and institutions of higher learning where a student who does not achieve a certain percentage in attendance could be prohibited,” Fatimah said yesterday.

She was responding to a case where three pupils of SK Bandar Bintangor were left out of the UPSR examination because they were considered academically poor and could pull down the school’s overall performance.


A dilemma: Ting speaking at the press conference last Friday with (seated from left) Richmend, Edward and Idie.

On Sept 16, Meradong assemblyman Ting Tze Fui claimed that Idie Ganyol, Edward Ujoh Augustine and Richmend Mangi were locked in a remedial room while their classmates sat for the examination on Sept 13 and 14.

After the boys’ parents complained, they were allowed to sit for the exam on Sept 15 – the final day.

Fatimah said an investigation was carried out by the Meradong District Education Office while a police report was lodged by the boys’ parents.

“I cannot reveal the outcome as it is still under police investigation,” she said of the police probe.

Meanwhile, Bintangor police chief DSP Mohd Hafifi Mohd Salim, in confirming that a report had been lodged, said: “The pupils were locked in a room.”

DSP Hafifi was, however, quick to add that the parents had withdrawn the report and that the police had closed the case.

According to him, the Education Department has been informed and that the parents agreed to withdraw the report after being assured that action would be taken against the school principal.

Fatimah, meanwhile, stressed that it was not up to the school to determine whether the pupils were fit to sit for the exam.

“MEB has the prerogative, not the school,” she added.

Asked if students who had been absent from lesson for long period could be kept out of examinations, Fatimah said: “MEB may have to make a stand on whether it wants the ruling to be based on a student’s attendance.

“I think it is unfair for schools to allow students absent from classes for long to pop up only for the exams.

“I personally feel that schools have been entrusted to prepare students for exams, but if the students are absent for long, how can the teachers and schools carry out their responsibility?”

Source: The STAR Home News Sarawak September 20, 2011


Tags: education, exam, upsr
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