Monday, August 10, 2009

Schools have contingency plans to manage exams

PERTH: The Education Ministry has contingency plans, including adjusting the dates for public examinations, if the Influenza A (H1N1) situation in schools cannot be managed.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was difficult to predict the situation.

“We have to be sensitive about this. The ministry has contingency plans in case schools become affected,” he told the Malaysian media during a breakfast meeting at the end of his five-day working trip.

The UPSR examination for Year Six pupils is scheduled for Sept 8 to 10 while the PMR examination for Form Three students will be from Oct 7 to 13. The SPM examination for Form Five students has been set for Nov 19 to Dec 16.

Asked what would happen to students quarantined at home during public examinations, Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said he would discuss the matter with education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom.

“We have to study the matter, particularly with regards to the examination papers,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the Government was taking various steps to ensure people took the situation seriously.

“We have advised them to take the necessary precautions such as wearing masks, washing their hands and self-quarantine if necessary.

“We can’t legislate that they must stay home, otherwise they will say the Government has restricted them to their homes,” he said.

He had said earlier that the National Security Council would issue guidelines on the closure of schools and institutions due to the flu, and that health authorities would decide if the situation in a particular school warranted closure.

He said the Government wanted to ensure that classes would carry on with minimal disruption.

Headmasters and principals could only halt classes if there was a directive from state education directors on the advice of health authorities.

Taken from The Star Online

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