KANGAR, Jan 4 — Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) has clarified that the questions in an Ethnic Relations examination paper that went viral on social media recently for allegedly touching on racial sensitivities complied with academic procedures or standard operating procedures (SOP).
UniMAP vice-chancellor Prof R Badlishah Ahmad said the university has conducted a detailed probe through a committee comprising its deputy vice-chancellor (Academic & International), legal advisor, registrar, and its Academic Management and faculty deans.
He said the committee found that the questions were misinterpreted by the public and taken out of context with regard to the course’s learning and teaching objectives, adding that there had also been a blunder in translating the word ignorant to ‘bodoh’ (stupid) for answer choice IV of question 60.
R Badlishah said a comprehensive investigation found that the examination paper assessment panel appointed by UniMAP comprised individuals from various academic fields and races and the questions in the examination paper were in line with the topic ‘Challenges of Ethnic Relations and Current Issues’.
“Based on the university’s principles of academic freedom and the level of student maturity, all current issues have been identified and evaluated based on academic disciplines through teaching and learning sessions, course work assessment and the final examination,” he said in a statement here today.
He added that the university would improve the vetting process of prepared questions so that they do not touch on specific issues but are more general-based.
“At the same time, multiple-choice questions will not be based on opinions and instead will be factual and theoretical,” he said, adding the university is always open to suggestions and views from all quarters.
Last Monday, the Education Ministry through its Higher Education Department (JPT) said it was aware of the issue surrounding several UniMAP examination questions. However, it went on to say that it would not interfere in the conduct of the academic programmes of the university as the department was holding on to the concept of autonomy with accountability.
JPT said through this concept, the university was responsible to all stakeholders, including students and the public. — Bernama