February 24th, 2014

Guru tak perlu laksana PBS ... buat sementara

Kuala Lumpur: Guru tidak perlu meneruskan pelaksanaan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (PBS) sehingga kenyataan mengenainya dibuat Kementerian Pendidikan dalam masa terdekat.

Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran, Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof dalam kenyataan semalam berkata, pihaknya akan memaklumkan keputusan kajian semula berkenaan setelah Menteri Pendidikan, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin berpuas hati dengan penambahbaikan yang dicadangkan.

Katanya, penambahbaikan itu mengambil kira dapatan kajian terbaharu kementerian, rungutan guru dan mengambil kira pandangan masyarakat termasuk Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM).

Teliti semula perlaksanaan

“Kementerian mengambil inisiatif meneliti semula pelaksanaannya agar dapat mengurangkan bebanan tugas guru, dengan memfokuskan kepada rombakan perkara yang membabitkan kekerapan guru memasukkan data termasuk pengisian borang perekodan prestasi murid yang boleh membebankan guru,” katanya.

Norakmah Mat Youb dan Haika Khazi Berita Harian Nasional 24/02/2014

PBS put on hold until further notice

KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers do not have to continue implementing the School-Based Assessment (PBS) until further notice.

Education director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said the Education Department would only announce the results of the PBS review after Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is satisfied with the proposed improvements.

The changes will take into account the ministry's latest findings, teachers' grievances, and public outcry, including that of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), Khair said in a statement Sunday.

"The Ministry has taken the initiative to re-examine the PBS implementation in order to reduce teachers' workload by focusing on the frequencies of teachers entering the data, including filling in pupils' performance evaluation record cards which can be burdensome," he said.

He said the recently set-up, Ministry-level PBS taskforce would hold a weekly meeting to review and evaluate the progress of each action taken in scrutinising the system.

"The PBS War Rooms have also been set up at the Ministry level to address issues arising in the PBS implementation immediately and effectively, including providing prompt feedback," he said.

He said the Ministry was working to improve access to the School-Based Assessment Management System to ensure that teachers could gain access to the system more easily and effectively.

The nationwide PBS briefings for primary and secondary schools, which started on Monday, have also been put on hold to avoid confusion over its implementation, he added.

Khair said the findings of workshops on the PBS implementation involving teachers and teachers' unions recently would be announced soon.

"This is to ensure that each element of the PBS implementation will provide a holistic assessment on students while reducing teachers' burden in implementing it," he added. - Bernama

The STAR Home News Nation 23/03/2014

Institutions must follow MQA standard

ALL INSTITUTIONS of higher learning should adhere to the minimum quality standard established by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA).

Institutions of higher learning must conduct programmes based on the minimum standard as an assurance that students are being equipped with sufficient knowledge and necessary skills to be absorbed into the job market.

The higher education institutions must obtain full MQA accreditation for the programmes offered before students graduate from the said programmes. Otherwise, their qualification should not be recognised by thegovernment.

However, it is disheartening to know that there are colleges that do not adhere to the minimum standard stipulated by the agency. They have not only failed to get accreditation from the MQA but in fact continue to conduct programmes.

One example is a college in Ipoh, Perak that conducts the ACCA programme. Upon checking with the agency, I was informed that the programme license had lapsed and the college failed had failed to renew it.

The management and students of the college seem to be unaffected as to whether they obtain the MQA approval or otherwise. As far as they are concerned the ACCA programme is globally recognised.

The college has been conducting the programme since its establishment in 1996 without regard for the minimum standard and students have not complained. This is because the students are not aware of what the minimum standard is and do not seem to realise that they are being short-changed by the college.

The students who fail the ACCA papers, accept their fate thinking that since ACCA exams are difficult, they have to keep trying.

They do not realise that they are not being properly coached or trained according to the standard established for a degree programme by the agency. The college does not offer certain subjects at the ACCA professional level because it is not profitable.

The stranded students then seek private tuition to continue the programme on their own. The college also conducts other programmes without MQA accreditation.

I urge students in higher education institutions to be aware of the importance of the agency’s approval. They should demand the respective colleges to deliver courses based on the MQA’s minimum standard.

The agency should actively engage with students and staff in all higher education institutions, and inform them on what constitutes a minimum standard.

Currently, I understand that the agency actively engages only with the top management of the various institutions and MQA officials meet the students and staff only during the audit process for full accreditation.

Students and staff are never aware of what constitutes minimum standard, despite the information being available on the MQA website.

Institutions of higher learning must ensure that the quality of education is never compromised. The management should allocate a budget to continuously improve quality of delivery and learning. The Education Ministry must not allow organisations to enter the education industry with profit as the sole objective.

The academic staff of higher education institutions must be brave to stand up against any decisions made by the management that compromises academic quality. The future of our children is in the hands of the Education Ministry, MQA and academicians. Our education system must be free from business and political interference.

Concerned Academician The STAR Home News Education 23/02/2104

Do more in class, teachers told

YOUR article under the heading “Enter the Shadow Teacher” (StarEducate, Feb 16) is close to my heart as I am one myself.

It is no lie to say that students are not being taught enough at schools and are left to their own devices during certain school periods.

Many teachers take on a tidak apa (couldn’t-care-less) attitude and there are some who are not as well-versed with the subject/subjects they are assigned to teach.

In such situations, the students become the “victims” and doesn’t this speak unfavourably of a weak education system?

As a result of the poor teaching at schools, students are forced to seek academic help from tuition centres and tutors.

Each year, my tuition classes have been swelling as there is an increasing number of students and their parents who are disillusioned with the manner in which school teachers conduct themselves during lessons.

They either regurgitate facts from the text book without attempting to explain or expect students to to be “enlightened” by “outside forces” or tuition classes.

As a tutor, I am pleased that students have confidence and faith in my teaching, but unfortunately there are many students who are unable to afford tuition fees and are therefore deemed weak.

Our education system hasn’t been fair to the majority of students.

The Education Ministry must ensure that teachers buck up and take pride in their work at all times.

Cikgu Bayang Teluk Intan Perak The STAR Home News Education 23/02/2014

PBS diteruskan selepas kajian selesai 1 April - Idris Jusoh

KUALA LUMPUR 24 Feb. - Kementerian Pendidikan akan meneruskan pelaksanaan sistem Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (PBS) selepas kajian bentuk baharu pelaksanannya diumumkan pada 1 April depan.

Menteri Pendidikan II, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh meminta guru-guru agar tidak terlalu bimbang berhubung perkara tersebut, sebaliknya memberi fokus kepada pengajaran untuk anak-anak murid.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas majlis penerangan hasil penyelidikan universiti-universiti penyelidikan tempatan, di Universiti Malaya, di sini hari ini. - UTUSAN ONLINE

Utusan Malaysia Dalam_Negeri 20140224

Muhyiddin: I never ordered transfer of PBS-protesting teacher

KAJANG: The order to transfer the teacher who protested the implementation of the School-Based Assessment (PBS) system probably came from district-level administrators, and not the Education Minister.

"I want to make it clear that I did not give any instruction to take action against any teacher, including those who are in the Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) group," said Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.

He said that the transfer of Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, who acted as SGMM committee chairman, probably involved district-level administration and that he was not aware if the decision was made because the teacher voiced his dissatisfaction of the system or other factors.

He added that the Ministry never had the intention of burdening him.

"Teachers can voice out their opinions, yes they can, but they must do it according to proper procedures as stipulated in the circular," he said.

"I have decided that the best way for the Ministry to overcome the PBS issue is to postpone its implementation, so that a study can be done to improve the system," he told reporters at Surau Al-Falah, Kampung Bukit Dukung, here Monday.

Muhyiddin said the most important thing to do after the postponement was for the Ministry to find suitable methods to ensure implementation of the system is better for all quarters.

On Sunday, the Ministry's director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said that teachers need not continue implementing the system until the Ministry made an official statement on the matter.

He also said the Ministry would make the results of the study public. - Bernama

The STAR Home News Nation 24/02/2014

Software to record students’ progress

LONG before the School-Based Assessment (PBS) system was introduced by the Education Ministry in 2011, a retired teacher had designed a software to help schools record the academic achievements of their students.

Unlike the PBS system which requires teachers to manually key in the data online, the software, which is currently used by close to 300 schools, runs on a network system and provides a detailed analysis including the expected grade of the student and the projected improvement of the results for the following year.

“Teachers from all over the country are logging onto the PBS online system to key in the results.

“This will inevitably slow down the system,” said the retired teacher who declined to be named.

He believes that data collection is best done within the school with the items tailored to the school’s needs.

“It’s time consuming when too much raw data is collected from students’ co-curricular achievements to disciplinary records. Only analysed data is useful in helping the school to carry out its teaching and learning activities,” he said.

He was commenting on the problems faced by teachers three years after PBS was put in place, including slow loading times and crashes.

Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) working committee head Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari had said it was going ahead with its Feb 22 protest in Bangi to highlight the weaknesses of PBS, despite assurances by the ministry that the system would be reviewed.

Several IT experts have commented that this could be due to insufficient server or Internet capacity for the large number of users, resulting in a bottleneck.

Former programmer at a media company, Shaun Azlan Noordin, said one factor could be that the server and network were not able to support the number of users.

This was especially so if most teachers were logging in at the same time.

Dixon Liu, who runs his own computer company, used the analogy of a fast food restaurant with only one open counter. “It’s obvious that when 20 people queue up at one counter, it will be very slow.”

Senior IT executive Lim Sui Jin said there could also be geographical reasons.

“For example, if a server is located in Malaysia, users accessing a system from Australia would have a slower experience than those in Malaysia.

“So, the speed would also depend on where the server is located,” he said.

Woon Wai Keen, chief technology officer of a company that does cloud and Content Delivery Network software solutions for service providers, said every system would have a bottleneck.

He said performance always boils down to physical hardware. “It may be shifted by good software or system design, or it might be something that has to be expected due to physical constraints,” he said.

KANG SOON CHEN AND JEANNETTE GOON The STAR Home News Education 23/02/2014

School-based assessment policy put on hold

KUALA LUMPUR: The school-based assessment (PBS) policy has been put on hold until a statement is issued by the Education Ministry on the matter.

Director-general of Education Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said yesterday the ministry viewed seriously the workload issues raised by teachers involved in implementing the policy, as well as its effect on students.

“PBS is a policy where holistic evaluation of students is carried out. With regard to implementation, the Education Ministry is always open and transparent on all grouses, complaints, criticisms and feedback from teachers as
well as the public,” he said in a statement.

In line with a directive by the education minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the deputy prime minister) to the ministry to carry out a detailed study on the implementation, Khair said the policy was being reviewed to ease
the workload of teachers. As such, teachers did not have to continue with the policy unless told otherwise, he said.

He said all PBS briefings for primary and secondary schools nationwide had been postponed indefinitely to avoid confusion.

He added that dialogues with teachers, including unionised members, had been held since early this month and the outcome would be forwarded to the ministry soon.

The ministry had formed a PBS task force at the ministerial level to evaluate new developments on the policy.

"A PBS war room at the ministerial level to tackle all issues arising from the implementation of the policy has also been formed."

Khair said improvements were being made to the school-based assessment management system to ensure teachers could access the system easily and effectively.

"All these actions are to ensure that every element of the PBS implementation will provide teachers with efficient and easy assessment of students and at the same time, reduce their workload."

He added that the ministry would make known the outcomes of the evaluation once the education minister was satisfied with the improvements made to the policy, taking into consideration teachers' grouses and input from the public, including Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia.

"For the time being, teachers do not have to continue with the implementation of PBS until a statement on the matter is issued by the ministry in due course," he said.

File picture dated Dec 31, 2013, shows Roy Azmi (right) from SK Taman Nirwana Ampang
attempting to answer to a question.Pix by Effendy Rashid


NUTP wants PBS simplified

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) wants the School-Based Assessment (PBS) to be simplified so that the focus of teachers to educate students will not be affected.

Its secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said the PBS system may be detrimental to students because teachers could lose their focus while teaching and learning process as they would have to examine test papers and input the data in the PBS system daily.

Nevertheless, she said NUTP welcomes the postponement of the PBS as announced by the Education Ministry yesterday.

"Rightly, teachers should use their time in school to educate the students, not keying in data into the system," she said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Yesterday, the ministry announced that the system was postponed until further notice since the postponement was needed to scrutinise its implementation to reduce the burden of teachers.

The focus would be on reshuffling matters involving the frequency of teachers entering data, including filling performance of students' recording forms which could burden teachers.

Meanwhile, Mohd Khairi Isa, who teaches at a school here hoped PBS could be abolished because it burdened teachers as the system took a long time to access and requires the filing of many entries for each student.

"Just imagine, daily I have to enter the performance data of 320 students in the PBS system. Often, I am forced to get up early in the morning to enter the data in the system because I could not access it the previous night," said Mohd Khairi who teaches eight classes with enrollment in each class reaching about 40 students.

He added that PBS also placed pressure on the students who had to sit for four to six tests in different subjects, other than having to take part in sports in the evening.

He said the Education Ministry should also return to the old system which was proven effective in educating students and had turned out competent leaders. -- BERNAMA

NST Latest News 24/02/2014

PAGE: World Bank report wrong, PPSMI did not cause education slide

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — An English-language lobby group has shot down a World Bank report that attributed the decline of Malaysian students’ science and mathematics scores to the switch in the language of instruction from Bahasa Malaysia to English.

Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, chairman of the Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE), pointed out that the 14-year-old students, who were tested in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), were still studying the subjects in the national language when their scores were found to have dropped sharply in 2007.

“The PPSMI only started in 2003. So, in 2007, they were only in Standard Five,” Noor Azimah told The Malay Mail Online when contacted yesterday, referring to the Policy of Teaching Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI).

Muslim schoolgirls sit in a circle around their religious teacher as they recite verses from the
Quran on the occasion of ‘Nuzul Quran’ in Putrajaya on July 26, 2013. — Reuters pic -

She said that Malaysia’s decline in TIMSS in 2007 and further in 2011, which was noted by the World Bank’s “Malaysia Economic Monitor: High Performing Education” report, was likely caused by the poor quality of school teachers and insufficient teaching hours instead.

Noor Azimah said according to the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, a 2011 research study on 41 schools showed that half of the lessons taught were unsatisfactory, while 38 per cent were dubbed satisfactory, and only 12 per cent were found to be of high standards.

The blueprint also revealed that based on the Education Ministry’s education management information system database, school teachers spent only between 2.4 and 2.9 hours a day teaching in the classroom, which was 40 per cent lower than countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, she said.

Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.

Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.
“Just based on these two points, it’s evidence enough that it has nothing to do with language, but with the quality of teachers,” said Noor Azimah.

“The quality of teachers is the most significant school-based determinant of student outcomes,” she added, quoting the blueprint.

She acknowledged that Malaysia’s drop in TIMSS in 2011 could also be due to teachers struggling to adapt to PPSMI.

“This was only the second cohort. For those teachers teaching these kids, it was a learning process. You can’t expect teachers to be excelling immediately,” she said.

She noted, however, that the questions in TIMSS were bilingual.

Noor Azimah also pointed out that according to the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey - which gave students the option of answering either in English or Bahasa Malaysia - she was informed that schools which answered in English ranked at the same level as schools in developed nations, whereas those which answered in Bahasa Malaysia scored very poorly.

The recently released global education benchmark registered declines in Malaysian students’ reading ability and science scores, albeit with improved mathematics scores, and ranked Malaysia overall 52nd out of 65 countries, far behind Singapore that placed second in the assessment.

“We want the Education Ministry to reveal the school rankings in PISA,” said Noor Azimah, adding that PISA had only publicly revealed the country rankings.

PPSMI was discontinued in 2012, but the Education Ministry has made it mandatory for students sitting for the Form Five SPM  examination to pass the English-language subject beginning 2016.

Boo Su- Lyn Malay Mail Online Article December 13, 2013