The MATSEC Examination Board has apologised for asking teenagers to translate a father's suicide note as part of their SEC exam.
Students were left shocked by the passage, which includes the words "I'll leave this life and die".
In a statement, MATSEC admitted it had made an "error of judgment".
The passage featured in this year’s Arabic exam for students aged 15 and 16, which took place on June 15.
The translation reads:
“My dear wife and children, I’m so sad I can’t live anymore, when you read this letter I’ll be dead and you won’t see me anymore. I gave you a lot when I was a young but now I’m older and you left me alone and poor without money, therefore, I’ll leave this life and die.
Maybe I’ll find another different life. Maybe I’ll be happy there. Maybe I’ll live with poor people like me. I love you. Bye.
Then he ate the poison, then slept in his bed, and the next day he wakes up happy and his wife calls him and he laughs, his children call him and he laughs.”
MATSEC said that members of the members of the SEC Arabic examination panel were selected "based on their subject knowledge and experience in the level."
The board said that in the preparation of the papers, the panel ensures that the examination is in line with the syllabus and caters to the candidates of different abilities.
"MATSEC has a review system in place to avoid such situation, but unfortunately, mistakes, including errors of judgement, may occur," it added.
"MATSEC guarantees candidates that this unfortunate incident will not have any impact on their grade," the exams body.
The exam question was widely shared on social media, with many shocked and upset at the choice of question.
It is not the first time this year that MATSEC's choice of questions has caused alarm.
Last week, Times of Malta reported that students sitting for a Maltese SEC exam were asked to write an essay about a fight between Maltese and foreigners in the main street in Paceville.
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