Malaysia national test papers leaked on social media, almost half a million students to resit exams
ASIA / Malaysia – The country’s biggest examination leak has affected almost half a million students, as investigations continue.
Examination papers leaked online before test
According to it’s Education Ministry’s press release, the Science examination scheduled for 11th September would be postponed to 30th September due to a leak discovered on 10th September 2014. On 11th September, the examination committee also discovered the English examination papers (which was already over by the time the leak was reported) were also leaked online prior to the test date. The ministry therefore decided to consider the test null and void. Students who have taken the specific English papers were expected to re-sit for them on 30th September 2014.
The Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) – known as the Primary School Achievement Test – is a national-level examination elementary school students sit for before moving on to secondary education. Typically, a student who sits for such an exam is about 12 years of age.
Rumoured leak last year for GCE “O” Level exams
Late in 2013, Malaysian paper The Star reported the Ministry was investigating a similar claim for leaked Mathematics and Additional Mathematics papers for SPM examinations. SPM is the equivalent of the GCE “O” Level, or GCSE. Back then, the Education Ministry’s Examination Syndicate stated “we also have a ‘flying squad’ to improve security measures during the examination period, and a task force to receive public complaints and feedback.”
Editor’s note: We assume by “flying squad” the ministry meant a mobile / roving team of invigilators and security officers on venue.
It was not revealed if the investigation was concluded, and what the findings were. However, a police investigation separate from the ministry, rubbished the leaked claims, stating “the issue of SPM papers being leaked does not arise. The seminar only made forecast questions based on past SPM question papers. We have carefully investigated the report.”
Current leak under investigations, suspects in mind
The Star further reports that Malaysian police are working on several leads to identify the ones responsible for the leak this time round, with the help of Cyber Security Malaysia, a government agency. An independent committee has also been set up by the Education Ministry to look into improvements of processes, particularly in the areas of security and secrecy.
Malaysian Examinations Syndicate director Dr Na’imah Ishak has been suspended with immediate effect over the leaks in this year’s Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) examination papers, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced. He also announced that the syndicate’s deputy director of operations Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh had also been similarly suspended. According to The Sun Daily, the minister explained the decision to suspend the duo was taken because “they had to take responsibility for the fiasco which resulted in the cancellation of the English 014/1 and 014/2 and Science 018, 028 and 038 papers.”
Leak is bad news, but no surprise?
The Malaysian Insider reported the chairperson of Malaysia’s Parent Action Group for Education (Page) believes the leak isn’t a surprise. “Every year, you hear of this happening. But the conditions set for the examination syndicate to endorse that a paper has been leaked is very, very stringent,” Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said when contacted. “So because of that, people do it over and over again as they realise they can get away with it.”
Calling it “shameful”, Noor Azimah said tuition centres were partly to blame as there was a rush to make their respective centres look good. “This is a marketing ploy by tuition centres. You’re giving a false impression to the child that he or she cannot do it without the papers,” she added. After this latest incident, the education activist said the Education Ministry had to re-examine its processes regarding exam papers and find out how they were leaked. “And the culprit must be severely reprimanded so that it will stop others from doing likewise in the future,” she added.
About 474,000 pupils are involved in the examination this year. The rescheduling will involve over 50,000 invigilators across 8300 educational centres nationwide.
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