THE public should not be alarmed by the drastic drop of straight As students in the recently released PT3 (Form Three Assessment) results.
This is an authentic indication of the students’ mastery as the PT3 employs the fixed grading format as explained by the Education director-general of in “Ministry: TP3 not be-all and end-all” (The Star, Dec 25).
For any school-based assessment, the criteria-based reference testing is appropriate so that we can see where the shortfall is, and parents need to be educated on this.
The recent misplaced outcry about the drop will do a great disservice to the future authenticity of our school-based assessment.
Our greatest fear would be that schools would make adjustments to silence the outcry by artificially inflating marks during their marking process by being extra lenient or by any other means beyond the radar of moderators from the Education Department.
Worse still, the moderators would be instructed to do so, and there would go whatever confidence the public has for school-based assessment.
Our country has been plagued by the crisis of confidence for our public schools for many years.
The assessment of the Practical PEKA Science is a case in question.
Integrity would be tested to the hilt and my fear is, we will fail miserably.
The fact remains that we often do not have the right people at the right place in schools and the education system.
My appeal is: allow the PT3 to evolve itself to fulfil its objectives.
Outcries which are selfish and very often baseless would only result in reverting to the bad old ways.
It would be sad to see that in order to silence an outcry, which is always a biased reaction, we sacrifice the high ideals of a good and effective schooling process and climate. Teng Chuan Wan Pontian Home Opinion Letters 30 December 2014