The overemphasis on examination results places immense mental and physical pressure on students. The stiff competition to get government and private scholarships to local and foreign universities has raised the entry level to As in all subjects.
Students prepare throughout Form 4 and Form 5 for the examination and they are given two hours for each subject paper.
The fate of the students lies in the few hours they spend in the examination hall.
Their results will determine the paths that they take in life. Many variables can affect their performance.
Students have to be physically healthy before and during the examinations. If they fall sick or get involved in an accident, it could have negative effects on their performance.
If their family members fall sick or die before or during the examination, it will disturb their concentration and affect their performance.
The overemphasis on perfection and excellence in examinations has resulted in students pushing themselves to the limits. Is the SPM an examination for the sake of an examination or does it measure students’ self worth, confidence, achievement and aptitude to succeed?
How much of the knowledge studied and tested for in the examination can be used by students in their future? Do students study to learn knowledge and skills or do they study to score?
Somehow, in the learning process, the aim and goal of sitting SPM have been lost with the overemphasis on setting a high benchmark. Parents and teachers have to stop putting pressure on students to excel.
AS the academic year comes to an end, schoolchildren are looking forward to enjoying the holidays. However, the euphoria may not be felt by those sitting the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, especially after the haze disrupted their preparations.
With the monsoon season expected to hit the country soon, it is not good news at all. These dry and wet seasons add to students’ pressure as they face the most important exam in their 11 years of primary and secondary education.
Our academic culture puts students under a lot of pressure as they strive to meet everybody’s expectations. Some feel that this scenario is unhealthy for children as the high expectations of parents, teachers and society can make them feel depressed, anxious and suicidal. Some students cheat during exams.
Others think that if there is no pain, there is no gain. Parents believe it is helpful to remind children to focus on their studies, instead of becoming addicted to wrong hobbies and habits.
As Winston Churchill said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Adults should realise that it is not the end of the world if their children fail to succeed or reach their targets.
|SPM students are put under a lot of pressure when they have to meet everybody’s expectations.|
Apart from reminding them that every cloud has a silver lining, parents should remember that students need others, especially their loved ones, to help them chase their dreams.
We should stop scaring schoolchildren by giving them the impression that SPM is everything or that having a string of As will ensure happiness in life.
This emphasis on getting As may discourage weak learners and make them think it is pointless to work hard when it is impossible to pass with flying colours.
The wrong definition of success and obsession with grades could kill their spirit and deny them the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Parents should realise that their not-so-smart way of trying to produce diligent and intelligent children will make it difficult for them to understand that learning is not about the results. It is about the determination to improve en route to becoming mature people.