KOTA KINABALU: Despite concerns about Covid-19, Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (STTSS) and Sekolah Menengah Kian Kok recorded high attendance rate among Senior 3 students, who returned to school on Wednesday (Jan 20).
Chinese independent high school students sit for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) in Senior 2, after which they could decide whether to advance to Senior 3 and take the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
On Wednesday, candidates who will be sitting for the 2020 SPM, Sijil Vokasional Malaysia, Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia and Diploma Vokasional Malaysia as well as other international level exams certified by the ministry from next month onwards have made their way back to over 2,400 secondary schools nationwide.
STTSS principal Chung Chin Hing said 183 out of the 193 students who enrolled in Senior 3 have attended school.
“Those who did not turn up are currently outstation and therefore they are opting not to attend school for the time being.”
He said the school would not force parents if they were not comfortable with sending their children back to school.
But for students who return to school, they must strictly comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP), he said.
For students sitting for 2020 SPM but are not enrolled in Senior 3, STTSS will be conducting online revision at 2 pm.
“From January 25 to 29, all SPM candidates are required to sit for mock examination.
“We have done two rounds of mock examinations last year and we are doing another round again to refresh their (SPM candidates’) memory,” he said, adding that a total of 484 STTSS students would be taking the SPM examination on February 22.
On whether the students were prepared to take the SPM examination as the teaching and learning process was mostly conducted virtually last year, Chung said the higher form students, namely Senior 2 and 3 students, have adapted well to home-based learning.
“The 17 and 18-year-old students are learning more effectively over the past year.”
He explained that teachers acted as facilitators to guide students in their learning process and provide them with additional learning materials.
“Our Senior 2 and 3 students tend to absorb more because the learning materials are in multimedia form and are available for them to refer to at any time.
“They are not quite affected by home-based learning.
“On the other hand, the Junior 1 and 2 students require teachers to spoon feed them.”
Meanwhile, SM Kian Kok principal Goh Teck Seng said more than 95 percent of the Senior 3 students have returned to school as they would be taking both the 2020 SPM and UEC examination this year.
For the SPM candidates who are not enrolled in Senior 3, he said the school has arranged face-to-face classes on three Saturdays. The students have the option whether they want to attend the extra classes or not.
He said parents were indeed concerned about Covid-19 risks in sending their children back to school, however, the Ministry of Education’s directive was that examination candidates must attend physical class.
“We will not force parents (to send their children to school). If they are not willing to, they have to write to the school as a formality.”
Goh added that the school was strictly abiding by the Health Ministry’s SOPs in welcoming the students back.