Heads Must Roll Over UPSR Paper Leak, Says Pakatan MPs

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 – The leak of a Science paper in the ongoing UPSR examination involving nearly 500,000 students has cast doubts into the integrity of the examination board and Malaysia’s examination system, with one lawmaker calling for heads to roll for such serious breach. PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin said every few years, there were rumours and even instances of such leaks affecting tens of thousands of students, but he said this was one of the most serious cases.

He recalled that when he was sitting his SPM examination 20 years ago, some questions were leaked from one of the pure sciences subjects, and the authorities were forced to reset the papers. “This is outrageous. Heads must roll, the board’s director-general should take responsibility and quit. The buck stops with him,” he told The Malaysian Insider. He said Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should also publicly explain how such an incident could have happened and what actions would be taken against the perpetrators.

A statement from the Education Ministry had stated that the science paper, with codes 018, 028 and 038, had been leaked online and the examination which was scheduled for today had been postponed to September 30. The questions were leaked through social media and a report had been made with authorities to investigate the incident. There are 472,853 Year Six pupils sitting for the UPSR examinations nationwide. The examinations began yesterday and were due to end tomorrow.

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had apologised to parents and pupils affected by the leak of the UPSR science papers. Last night, Muhyiddin, who is the deputy prime minister, was quoted as saying that the leaked paper, which was available online, was an unfortunate incident. “The examination board and the Education Ministry have lodged a police report on the incident. The police will conduct a thorough probe to ascertain who was responsible for the leak.”

DAP’s Bukit Bendera federal lawmaker Zairil Khir Johari said the incident had raised questions on the integrity of the board and the overall examination system, noting that there was a need for a swift and strong response from the government as the credibility of the national examination system was at stake. “Of a bigger concern is, how it’s leaked and what will the ministry do about it? A bigger question that arises is, what else can or has been leaked?” he asked. He said the culprits must be found and measures needed to be taken to ensure that it did not happen again.

“One thing that I’ve always advocated is the setting up of an independent exams board, one that is not managed by the ministry, to preserve the integrity of our national exams and to ensure a more transparent accountability. “There must be full and public accountability. Someone must be responsible and whatever actions taken must not only be effective, but to be seen as effective, if not the board’s integrity is gone,” he added. Zairil’s colleague, DAP’s Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming said the board needed to do an indepth internal audit to ascertain what were the weaknesses in its current standard operating procedure. “In this day and age, it is much easier for people to use their phones to take pictures of the exam questions… security needs to be tighter and the board needs to be responsible for this,” said the first-term federal lawmaker.

Credit : The Malaysian Insider

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