A question in an alleged PT3 Science trial paper has raised the ire of netizens.
Although the question itself was problematic, what enraged netizens was the teacher who marked the question wrong. This is despite the question being opinion-based and the answer being morally correct.
The question asked in the exam was, “The selling of condoms openly in shop has a negative impact which will create a social problem in the society. Do you agree? Give your explanation.” To which, the student answered, “No, because condoms are a step for birth control which is needed to prevent pregnancy.”
Originally shared by sex educator and local writer June Low, who was puzzled as to why the answer was wrong, the post has amassed more than 220 shares as of time of writing.
When contacted, Low, who is the creator and host for Popek Popek, Malaysia’s first sex education web-series, told us:
“I think it got so much attention because many Malaysians are increasingly aware and concerned over what goes on in government schools. If we want to talk about social problems, Malaysia is facing epidemic levels of teen pregnancy and baby dumping, and the most important part is that this is not a secret. So I think that’s why many people are outraged that the answer given was marked as incorrect, when all things considered, it is in fact the most logical conclusion anyone can draw.”
Netizens echoed their sentiments, with Facebook user Koh Kek Hoe commenting, “What’s the bigger “social problem” – when people have sex or when they have unwanted babies?”
Others also left comments condemning the teacher’s action and criticizing Malaysia’s education system. For one, Velu Naicker, who shared the post, said, “The correct answer is apparently abstinence. See, the question specifically asked the students’ opinion. As long as there is an opinion, then marks should be given. Are you teaching Science or Moral? Unfortunately, opinion is only valid if the student had gave the official opinion.”
While the question brought to attention the flaw of Malaysia’s education system, it also points to the lack of sex education in the country, which, inevitably, leads to social issues such as teen pregnancies and baby dumpings. Also, due to the conservative nature of Malaysians, sex education is seen as a taboo issue.
Datuk Dr Raj Karim, the former director-general of the National Population and Family Development Board, also told The Star Online, “We always say that we have to teach sex education or family life education in school and for children to remain safe and have a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t mean when you teach them about family planning, you’re asking them to practise it there and then.”
Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon also stated that investigations are underway. He continued, “Something is wrong somewhere as condoms are used to prevent pregnancies.”
On the topic, Low concluded:
“We need comprehensive sex education in schools, and free access to contraception. You always read about people saying condoms encourage pre-marital sex and so we should curb condom education and also the usage of condoms. This is really ignorant and dangerous, especially when you consider that the highest number of HIV positive people in this country are housewives. We need more open discussion on contraceptive options especially condoms which are easily available and can prevent STIs and pregnancy!”