WE feel sorry for the 473,175 Year Six pupils across the nation who have to resit both the English and Science papers.
We feel the pain of the majority of the parents who are likewise caught in a dilemma that is not of their doing.
But we blame the adults who made this happen.
And by that, we mean not only those who leaked the papers, but also the parents and teachers who have created a situation where achievements in terms of distinctions matter more than real education.
The UPSR, like the PMR, is primarily an assessment examination, the sole purpose of which is to help the teachers identify weaknesses in the students and provide the necessary remedial teaching to help the children get up to speed as they go along their education journey.
It was never meant to be about how many distinctions each individual got, nor was it to allow the schools to trumpet the number of top scorers.
Learning is a lifelong process and a results-oriented approach has always had its flaws, more so in the early stages of a child’s education.
But we, as a society, have failed miserably in this respect because we want to showcase the A’s, and put the so-called super-achievers in the limelight.
Is it a surprise, therefore, that there are those who are prepared to pay for an advantage?
Would there be any value in having the UPSR examination papers ahead if society had not attached some value in the grades?
Those who leak the papers know there is a market for such unfair advantage.
And those who are prepared to lay their hands on such papers complete the vicious “there can be no taker if there is no giver” cycle.
Pity those children who are prepared to play along with this game that can only be initiated and endorsed by the adults.
And these are the adults who are supposed to be teaching the young generation the correct values of life.
We are already aware that many of our students with a string of A’s, even at the higher examinations, do not have the real abilities to match their grades.
Yes, there are those who really deserve the grades but there are also many who struggle to cope with the demands of higher education because the grades that gave them entry into the colleges and universities had been compromised.
The UPSR leaks provide us with a frightening scenario that the rot may be starting earlier than we earlier thought.
It is a sad reflection that we are bringing down, rather than raising, the bar.
Yes, we should bring all the culprits to book but let us not focus merely on the symptoms.
We should get down to the root of the problem and ensure that our young ones are getting the right education – not just in the examinations they take, but in the values that they embrace. The STAR Home Opinion Columnist 14 September 2014