Mixed reaction from parents over UPSR, PT3 cancellations

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Jackie Nojim

MIRI: Many parents with children who are supposed to sit for this year’s Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) are sad that the two public examinations have been cancelled, but agree that the move is vital in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

According to mother Angelina Lenny whose daughter was supposed to sit for UPSR this year, she had mixed feelings upon hearing the announcement by Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin yesterday.

“Of course it is sad to hear, but the decision was made for the good of our children and we all agree that our children’s safety is our priority,” she said.

To help her children cope, she said she would do her best to ensure that they do their own revision at home, even though it will not be as good as studying in a class with teachers.

“At school, our kids can share knowledge or opinions with their friends or teacher. But at home, sometimes they cannot even focus properly,” she said adding that she had bought several books online to help her children study at home.

Susie Easter, whose son was also supposed to sit for UPSR this year, said she was a little frustrated when she heard about the cancellation but she is thankful that the government is concerned about the health and safety of the students.

“It’s frustrating, but we look at the bright side. This is about our children’s safety and health.

“I will just let my children study at home like what they have been doing since the MCO (movement control order) . They can do activities from previous examination questions,” she said.

She added that the MCO situation was already stressful enough and she needed to be smart in helping her children divide their time so as not to add to their already stressful situation.

Banica Bani echoed the same view and she is happy to just have her children do their best in their studies.

“Two of my children will be missing the big examinations this year. Of course I want them to do their best, but the most important thing is that they will still be schooling once it is safe for them to do so. Tests can be taken any other time,” she said.

She added that throughout this MCO, her children have been attending online classes with their respective teachers.

“I must record my thanks to all of their teachers for taking the time to teach my children at times like this. I know it is not something easy,” she pointed out.

Rena Gindi, whose children will be sitting for UPSR and PT3, similarly agreed and said she is just happy that her children can do their revision at the safety of their own home at this difficult moment.

“So far my children have plenty of online homework given by their teachers. Their teachers are all very helpful.

“But I noticed that not many of the students have given their names for the school’s WhatsApp group.

“Maybe some of them do not have access to the internet. I really hope there are other ways or alternatives for these students so that they are not left behind in their studies,” she said.

Another mother, Jackie Nojim said this will be a trying time for her son who will be sitting for SPM, as this school year will be longer than usual due to the Covid-19 situation, with the exam only taking place next year.

She has been monitoring all her children doing their study at home and their only obstacle is poor internet connection.

“It’s hard for them to research anything online because our internet connection here (Kampong Serasot) is weak.

“We do have ‘WiFi Komuniti’ provided by the government here, but that line too is not stable,” she added.

She hoped the government can do something to improve internet access for all areas so that every student can attend online classes and no one will be left behind in their studies. This will also help them to easily pick up where they left, once they go back to school.

Emilia Iris meanwhile hoped that the government can come up with new solutions or ideas in the education system as she said both UPSR and PT3 examinations are important for parents to see their children’s progress.

“These examinations will help create a sense of appreciation, hope and pride in both students and parents.

“At the same time, it helps students decide on what they want to focus on,” she added.