PUTRAJAYA: It must have felt like a bolt out of the blue for Examinations Syndicate director Dr Na’imah Ishak.
In the morning, she was helping Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh demonstrate to the media how UPSR papers were secured before being transported to examination halls.
By afternoon, she had been suspended from duty by Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who gave the order from Vientiane, Laos, where he is attending the Asean Education Ministers Meeting.
The deputy director of operations at the Examinations Syndicate, Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh, was also suspended.
Dr Na’imah declined to comment on the action, saying she was in no position to make a statement.
The 58-year-old assumed the post in August 2011 after serving in several positions, including as deputy director (policy and planning), head of policy sector at the educational planning and research division, and deputy director at Institut Aminuddin Baki, an educational management institute.
Dr Na’imah was also a teacher at SMK Bentong in Pahang where she taught History, Bahasa Malaysia, Malay Literature and English to students in Forms Three and Four.
She also lectured at the Faculty of Education in Universiti Malaya (UM).
Born on Nov 30, 1956, she received her undergraduate degree in History from UM in 1978, followed by a diploma in education majoring in History with a minor in Geography at the same university in 1979.
She obtained a master’s degree in curriculum development from Acadia University in Canada in 1988 and a PhD in programme assessment from the University of Oregon in the United States in 2000.
During the demonstration, Idris and Dr Na’imah showed how the UPSR (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah) test papers were sealed in two transparent plastic bags and then placed in a canvas bag that was also sealed for transportation.
Also shown to reporters was an 800-page document that contained the Examinations Syndicate’s standard operating procedure for the security of test papers and the conducting of public examinations.