Will Education Ministers Be ‘Re-Assigned’ Following Latest UPSR Leaks, Asks DAP Lawmaker

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 – DAP’s Dr Ong Kian Ming has called on the Education Ministry to reveal if it planned on “re-assigning” both its ministers following the discovery of leaks in two more UPSR examination papers on Sunday. Ong also wanted the ministry to explain its lack of contingency plans in dealing with examination leaks as UPSR candidates were being made to resit several papers almost a month after they were scheduled to finish their exams. “If the director of the Examinations Syndicate, Dr Na’imah Ishak and her deputy Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh have been ‘reassigned’ to other duties, should not the two education ministers – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh – also be ‘reassigned’ for their failure to conduct a speedy investigation into leaks in other UPSR papers?

“Why weren’t there any contingency plans prepared in case of confirmed leaks of other papers so that the UPSR pupils do not have to wait until October 9 to resit their papers?” he said in a statement today. The ministry yesterday announced that UPSR candidates were now required to resit their Mathematics and Tamil language papers on October 9, after both papers were found to have been leaked. Director-general of Education Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said the Malaysian Examination Syndicate (MES) had confirmed that both papers were leaked on September 21. This follows an outcry 10 days ago over leaks in the English and Science papers after the syndicate announced that pupils would have to resit those papers on September 30.

Muhyiddin had previously announced that the ministry had suspended Na’imah and Wan Ilias “with immediate effect”, following the leaks in the English and Science papers. However,the ministry’s secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad said that MES director Dr Na’imah Ishak and the deputy director of operations Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh had not been suspended from duty, saying “they are not being punished”. Ong, who is Serdang MP, said Malaysians had first experienced a big shock on September 10 after the ministry revealed that the Science paper had been leaked and pushed the exam to September 30, and another shock the next day when students were told they would have to resit their English paper as well.

He noted that Idris had said on September 11 that reports on leaks of the Maths paper would be investigated and 11 days later Malaysians were dealt more blows following the announcement that the paper had indeed been leaked along with the Tamil paper. “It is disgraceful and unacceptable that it took 10 days for the Education Ministry to discover these further leaks. As a result, our Primary 6 UPSR pupils will have to ‘suffer’ for another 9 days to take their Mathematics and for some, their Tamil exams on October 9. “The UPSR exam, which was supposed to have concluded on September 11, will now finish almost one month later on October 9,” he added.

This meant that some half a million Year Six pupils and their families would have to suffer a disruption in their schedules besides the “mental anguish” of having to retake their examinations, Ong said. “The Malaysian people, especially the pupils and parents affected, deserve an honest and transparent answer from both education ministers for this UPSR fiasco,” he added. The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has also called on the ministry to explain why it took more than 10 days to determine that the Mathematics and Tamil language papers had also been leaked. Its president Hashim Adnan told The Malaysian Insider that 13 days had passed since the Year Six pupils sat for the UPSR Maths paper on September 10 and accused the ministry of making a mockery of the UPSR exam.

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