Social media influencers among causes of SPM candidates skipping exams

Influencers are promoting the idea that success and wealth can be attained without the SPM certificate.

29 May 2024 07:02pm
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

KUALA LUMPUR - The failure of over 10,000 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia 2023 candidates to sit for the examination is attributed to social media influencers promoting the idea that success and wealth can be attained without the SPM certificate.

Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman, Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, highlighted that students without adequate guidance are susceptible to being swayed by attractive career paths as influencers, offering income without the need for qualifications.

"These students view becoming influencers as a shortcut to earning money without the need for education or qualifications. Some even believe they can forgo SPM because they can earn a decent income as food delivery riders," she said.

"Although skipping the SPM examination after completing Year One through Form Five is a significant loss, for individuals lacking interest, academic inclination and proper guidance, this period merely represents a phase in their life journey," she told Bernama.

At the same time, Noor Azimah suggested that SPM dropouts should concentrate on developing skills they are passionate about as an alternative path to creating their own job opportunities.

"Many without SPM qualifications regret their stagnant salaries as their careers advance. Previously, they didn't plan ahead, but now they grasp life's harsh reality," she added.

Echoing her views, Universiti Malaya Centre for Family Research and Development chairman, Dr Abd Razak Zakaria, portrayed some youths today as appearing indifferent to the future, as they believe that school education does not guarantee a prosperous life.

"Influenced by social media, they perceive their current lives as comfortable enough. However, obtaining an SPM certificate would undoubtedly lead to a more meaningful and higher-quality career path and future.

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He emphasised that Malaysians should pursue education, viewing it as a tool to construct a brighter future and propel the nation towards greater achievements.

Razak added that the government, particularly the Education Ministry (MOE), must address the issue of students failing to sit for SPM and lacking the examination certificate promptly. This is crucial as employment opportunities rely on knowledge and skills.

Meanwhile, National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Fouzi Singon urged the MOE to offer comprehensive data on student absenteeism during the SPM examinations, to prevent it from being exploited for political purposes by irresponsible parties.

Fouzi noted that absenteeism can result from several factors, including employment among private candidates, dropout due to lack of interest or disciplinary issues, expulsion from school for disciplinary reasons and illness or hospitalisation.

"The ministry must provide comprehensive data, not just the number of absentees, but also the reasons behind it. Accurate data will prevent blame and schools need to understand the causes of absenteeism. Teachers and counselors can then address these issues accordingly," he said.

During the press conference announcing the SPM 2023 results last Monday, Education director-general Azman Adnan revealed that out of the 383,685 candidates registered for the public examination, only 373,525 candidates showed up, with 93.5 per cent of them meeting the requirements for receiving an SPM certificate. - BERNAMA