A psychologist has warned that pre-school children stand the chance of going into Standard One illiterate, if they are not properly coached by their teachers and parents at home.

This following the prolonged closure of kindergartens during the COVID-19 pandemic, said University of Malaya Centre for Continuing Education (UMCCeD)'s Child Psyhologist Prof Mariani Md Nor.

"Pre-school children who are stepping into their first standard next year will face issues with spelling and counting. We have been afflicted by the pandemic since last March and it has affected many matters.

"The parents will also be affected as their children will not be able to read or count properly. They could pronounce letters but cannot form two syllable words or do simple maths like addition or subtraction," Mariani was quoted telling Utusan Malaysia.

According to Mariani, teachers and parents should work together to avoid such problems from occurring.

"Teachers should utilize technology to conduct home-based learning, which should be supervised by parents at home.

"Children aged five or six are not matured enough to focus on learning, but the problem will not be so apparent if they are constantly monitored by their parents or guardians, especially those who are working from home," she said.

Senior Minister (education) Radzi Jidin recently announced that schools nationwide, including those not under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), will remain closed for the rest of this year, and will only reopen in January next year.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry has released the new examination timetable for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) and the International Language Achievement Test (UPBA).

According to the schedule, SPM from Feb 22 to Mar 25; SVM is from Jan 20 to Feb 22; STAM is from Feb 22 to Mar 3, and UPBA on Feb 23.

With the new schedule, the previous roster is considered annulled, reported the New Straits Times.

Source: Utusan Malaysia, NST
Photo source: Astro Awani