The Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) examinations have been cancelled this year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Senior Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jinin, who is in charge of the Education portfolio, said in a televised press conference that this year's Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) examinations, will also be moved to the first quarter of next year.

"The Education Ministry have conducted various meetings with stakeholders and we agreed that the utmost priority will be given to the students' health and safety, before the decision to reopen schools is made.

"The parents also need not worry that their kids will be left behind in their studies. The ministry will come up with new methods that can gauge the students' performances not based on academic achievements alone," said Radzi.

Parents will also not get caught off guard with a "sudden" reopening of the schooling session, once the situation has stabilised, he assured.

"The ministry is working closely with the Health Ministry and the school reopening date will be made known at least 2 weeks in advance.

"Again, I would like to assure that schools will only open when we are really sure that the situation has returned to normal, and even after the schools are reopened, social distancing among the students will be prioritised," the minister said.

Since the dates of SPM and STPM have been postponed, the enrolment date into higher education institutions will also be put off to the second half of next year.

According to Radzi, the ministry will also meanwhile, assure that students nationwide are given the opportunity to follow their lessons online.

Asked on whether the year end school holiday will be made shorter, due to the longer leave now, Radzi said the annual school calendar remains the same, for now.

Any changes to the dates will be informed accordingly, he added.

Photo source: Astro Awani.