THE recent SPM examination was both a devastating and heart-wrenching experience for the candidates.
As a teacher I feel that we had failed our students as we had not given them enough exposure in Form 4 or Form 5 to acquire the necessary skills to answer HOTS (Highly Optimum Thinking Skills) questions which were the type of questions in this year’s SPM.
We, as teachers, were also not informed about this. So, how were we to help our students?
As a dedicated teacher this is indeed heart-wrenching and upsetting, especially when even your best student was unable to answer the questions.
What about the others who are average students?
Are they going to be penalised because they had not have enough exposure to such skills or because the teachers were not equipped to teach them?
If a student gets a “B” does that mean he/she is below a candidate who obtained an “A” in the 2013 SPM?
At the end of the day it is the A+ and A's that people look at and not the type of questions the students were faced with.
What about my former students from the kampung in Kuala Terengganu who were in tears when they called me to complain that the revision of the textbooks, past year papers and revision books were no help at all in their preparation for this year’s SPM?
As a teacher I can feel the pain of my students, especially those who had been worked hard throughout their years in school.
Is the SPM going to judge them as average students?
It’s only fair to judge and assess the students’ capabilities if they were exposed to critical thinking throughout their school life.
They cannot be expected to handle HOTS questions in an exam that would determine their future.
To the students, the SPM is an important and crucial exam that would determine their future.
It appears that this year’s SPM has made many students, if not all, to think whether their future was taken into consideration by the Government or was the exam used as a tool to show that we could compete globally?
The students are willing to compete globally and proud to place the country on the world map as far as good education is concerned.
But is it fair to assess them in such manner in the SPM when they were never trained to apply critical thinking nor to attempt HOTS questions?
They were not exposed to such thinking in any way, be it in sukatan pelajaran, textbooks, past year questions or the classroom.
I feel that as a dedicated teacher I have failed in my task. Concerned Teachers Kuala Lumpur The STAR Letters 19 December 2014