MOE Responds After Parents Call Out Muslim-Only SPM Workshops At Convent School

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has said that the classes were for all races and that another session would be held for those who did not attend the first time.

Cover image via Free Malaysia Today & New Straits Times

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It was alleged that SMK Infant Jesus Convent in Johor recently held a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) study camp that invited only Muslim students after informing parents that it was purely for Islamic studies

The overnight examination workshop took place at a hotel.

According to a concerned netizen Anne Louis under the Twitter handle @sangria200, the non-Muslim students were not informed of the workshop and had found out from their classmates after it took place, a few days before the Chinese New Year celebrations.

However, it was later revealed that the classes also covered subjects like Chemistry and Additional Mathematics

The Twitter user also called out the management of the high performance school for intentionally leaving out non-Muslim students.

She shared screenshots purportedly from the school's Parent-Teacher Association (PIBG) WhatsApp group chat, showing the principal informing disgruntled parents that the additional classes were only meant for 40 low performing Muslim students, in hopes of improving their grades.

The principal then denied the allegations of discrimination and asked for the workshop not to be turned into a racial issue

"This is a high performance school that is the hope of the Johor Bahru district education office and the Johor state department of education. The performance of our Malay students is very worrying," wrote the principal.

"As many as 40 students are failing and will not qualify for the SPM certificate if efforts are not made to help them."

She added that the ongoing efforts were to focus on the failing students to help them change and improve their performance.

"Parents and outsiders will blame the principal if SPM results (do) not achieve the target," she said.

According to New Straits Times, Anne said she had contacted Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek to further investigate the matter. 

MOE has stated that the workshop was meant for all races but had been split into two sessions in order not to disrupt Chinese New Year celebrations

Malaysiakini reported that the ministry released a statement saying a second session is to take place on 26 and 27 January for the students who did not attend the first session.

When contacted by Free Malaysia Today, the Johor education department said it has investigated the matter and will release a statement soon.

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