An SPM Bahasa Melayu Oral Examination Question Asked Students What's Their "Dream Wedding"

The question has left Malaysians scratching their heads about its need within the curriculum and the Ministry of Education's (MOE) priorities.

Cover image via The Malaysian Reserve

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Students taking the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2021 Bahasa Melayu oral examination were asked about their "dream wedding"

The SPM 2021 Bahasa Melayu oral examination, held from 8 to 10 February, involved 401,927 students.

According to a Twitter user, her little sister was one of the students who was asked the question.

"My sister said that one of the questions for SPM Bahasa Melayu oral examination was "explain what your dream wedding is" and I found it so unnecessary like why are minors being questioned this kind of things? Are they expecting a child to answer that question?" the Twitter user shared on Wednesday, 9 February.

Another Twitter user claimed that students were told they had to give answers on the wedding ceremony, and not about their future partner or household. "It was so confusing," the user added.

New Straits Times also quoted a parent who said that her son's friend received the question.

"The child, who is a boy, was stumped for a bit. He was frustrated when he came out. Even I was stunned. This is the first batch of students of KSSM (Secondary School Standard Curriculum), they didn't have much time in schools (due to the pandemic) and as soon as they got in, the question is so explosive."

The image is for illustration purposes only.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

The question has left Malaysians scratching their heads about its need within the curriculum and the Ministry of Education's (MOE) priorities

Speaking to New Straits Times, Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) president Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said 17-year-olds should not be thinking about marriage given the prevalent issue of child marriages in the country and students marrying immediately or shortly after leaving school.

"Oral is about articulation and you can say why not, but I think questions should be on more relatable subjects. There are child marriages; they could have asked what's the right marriageable age instead, climate change, recycling, public transport, even Undi 18 which directly affects them as some of them would become the first batch of 18-year-olds to vote in the Johor state election," Noor Azimah said.

"However, now since this issue is gaining traction among parents and students, the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate should come up with an articulate explanation as to why they chose this."

Similarly, Sisters In Islam executive director Rozana Isa was quoted saying that it was totally outrageous that, even now, these are the kind of questions students in the Malaysian school system have to deal with.

According to Rozana, it's worrying that this was the best that MOE can come up with especially when students are facing grave academic and economic concerns with regards to access to virtual classrooms, Internet facilities and gadgets as well as sustaining themselves throughout the period of lockdowns.

"This question also seems to give emphasis to being marriage-centric, when we should be opening all possibilities to youth and letting them do what they want with their life in the future," she added.

Meanwhile, Kulai member of parliament (MP) Teo Nie Ching — who is the former deputy education minister — wants MOE to clarify if SPM students were really asked the question about their "dream wedding"

Is it true SPM candidates were asked 'what's your dream wedding'?
Teo Nie Ching

If true, Teo said, the question is "completely inappropriate" and should not be posed to Form 5 students.

"They are only 17 years old," she said in a statement today, 13 February.

"They should not even be thinking about marriage because there are many other important issues in their lives, like what they want to achieve academically. If it's true that the question was asked, the ministry should apologise to all Form 5 students and their parents," the Opposition lawmaker added.

She said the ministry should strive to ask questions that are more dignified and relevant.

On the other hand, Deputy Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff has shared 'motherly' tips for married people to help them have a harmonious family:

Additionally, Public Health Malaysia has claimed that husbands experience more stress if their wives earn a higher income than them:

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