THE majority of pupils are generally poor in English but this should not be exacerbated by taking a lackadaisical approach when setting exam papers.
We have often seen glaring language errors in exam papers in the past -- both in English and Bahasa Malaysia -- at all levels. Unless this is tackled, we will make students more confused, and our education process a sham.
The exam process is in itself a learning process. A badly written exam paper reflects on the quality of our education.
The Science Paper (018) in the recent Ujian Pengesanan Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah Negeri Pahang is one example where those who set exam papers did not ensure that the questions prepared were in proper English.
The questions apparently confused many pupils sitting the exam.
Some of the questions taken from the exam paper are listed below:
- "The diagram shows three animals which have the difference way to survive of their species."
- "What is inference based on this investigation?"
- "Give observation to support the inference in (a)"
- "Predict what animal Q do if enemies disturb their eggs?"
- "What conclusion can be make from this investigation?"
- "They notes their investigation below. (Mereka mencatat penyiasatan seperti di bawah)"
- "One week life spent (Satu minggu jangkahayat)"
- "Tree days life spent (Tiga hari jangka hayat)"
- "What is observation from this investigation?"
- "Predict the distance of the ping pong balls move which on carpet surface."
- "The diagram shows the relationship between a distance of ball from the torch and the size of the shadow."
When there are errors in exam papers, the value is questionable.
Language teachers are emphasising correct language structures when teaching and the onus is on the school or Education Department to ensure that all question papers are written in proper English or Bahasa Malaysia.
Having an apathetic attitude towards this issue will not only confuse pupils but also affect the learning process and the quality of education.
Unfortunately, this laid-back attitude has crept into the education process at all levels. This, seemingly, can now be observed from primary to the tertiary level of the education process.
When we stress on quality education, we should equally stress on excellence when preparing exam papers. This is essentially taught in training modules for all teachers and is, at all times, emphasised in the education process in developed countries.
Browsing through any exam paper prepared by schools and colleges in developed countries will show how proper exam papers are set, specifically the language used. Many of these exam papers are compiled and sold to the public and can also be found on the Internet.
Source : English Language: It's a shameful trend