September 22nd, 2014

UPSR ~ Dua Lagi Kertas Bocor

Peperiksaan semula Matematik, bahasa Tamil bagi jamin kredibiliti UPSR - KP


PUTRAJAYA: Kementerian Pendidikan menegaskan, peperiksaan kertas Matematik dan bahasa Tamil Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) perlu dilaksanakan semula bagi memastikan pengendalian peperiksaan awam mematuhi Prosedur Operasi Standard (SOP) yang ditetapkan.

Dalam sidang medianya di sini, sebentar tadi, Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran, Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof berkata ia bagi menjamin integriti dan kredibiliti keputusan UPSR itu sendiri.

KETUA Pengarah Pelajaran, Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof pada sidang media di Kementerian Pendidikan, Putrajaya. Kementerian Pendidikan menegaskan, peperiksaan kertas Matematik dan bahasa Tamil Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) perlu dilaksanakan semula pada 9 Oktober bagi memastikan pengendalian peperiksaan awam mematuhi Prosedur Operasi Standard (SOP) yang ditetapkan. Turut sama Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Pendidikan, Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad. - Foto Fariz Iswadi Ismail

Berita Harian Semasa ISNIN, 22 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 5:01 PM


UPSR Bocor: KP Pelajaran mohon maaf kepada calon, ibu bapa

PUTRAJAYA: Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran, Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof memohon maaf kepada murid-murid ibu bapa dan guru yang terbabit dalam insiden kertas soalan Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) yang bocor.

"Saya telah pun mengarahkan semua guru besar dan guru-guru untuk mengenal pasti dan memberi khidmat kaunseling kepada murid memerlukan," katanya pada sidang media mengenai peperiksaaan semula kertas Matematik dan Bahasa Tamil di sini sebentar tadi.

Dr Khair berkata, beliau telahpun mengambil alih pengawasan seluruh proses pengendalian peperiksaan awam yang dilaksanakan oleh Lembaga Peperiksaan sejak insiden kebocoran pertama dilaporkan pada 12 September lalu.

Berita Harian Semasa ISNIN, 22 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 5:15 PM

Matematik, B. Tamil juga bocor

KUALA LUMPUR 21 Sept. - Selepas kertas peperiksaan Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) 2014 bagi mata pelajaran Sains dan Bahasa Inggeris bocor, kini Lembaga Peperiksaan mengesan dua lagi mata pelajaran yang turut mengalami perkara sama iaitu Matematik dan Bahasa Tamil.

Perkara itu didedahkan oleh pegawai kanan lembaga terbabit yang membuat laporan polis berhubung kebocoran itu di sebuah balai polis di Putrajaya, hari ini.

Difahamkan, pihak Lembaga Peperiksaan khuatir kedua-dua kertas peperiksaan tersebut turut bocor dan meminta pihak polis membuat siasatan lanjut.

Ketua Polis Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Tajuddin Md, Isa ketika dihubungi hari ini, mengesahkan perkara itu dan memberitahu, pihaknya akan membuat siasatan rapi berdasarkan laporan polis yang diterima.

"Kami terima laporan yang dibuat di Putrajaya itu dan setakat ini, perkara itu adalah maklumat terbaharu yang diberikan untuk melengkapkan siasatan.

"Siasatan berhubung perkara ini turut dilaksanakan mengikut Seksyen 8 (1) Akta Rahsia Rasmi (OSA) 1972," katanya, di sini hari ini.

Tajuddin seterusnya berkata, siasatan terhadap kemungkinan berlaku kebocoran kertas peperiksaan UPSR Matematik dan Bahasa Tamil itu akan diletakkan di bawah tanggungjawab pasukan siasatan khas yang ditubuhkan sebelum ini.

"Perkara ini serius kerana bukan satu atau dua sahaja kertas peperiksaan bocor sebaliknya ada lagi yang dikesan mengalami perkara sama," katanya dan memberitahu, polis masih mengumpul maklumat bagi mendakwa individu bertanggungjawab dalam kes itu.

Dalam perkembangan sama, Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Kuala Lumpur, Senior Asisten Komisioner Gan Kong Meng berkata, kertas siasatan bagi kes kebocoran peperiksaan UPSR telah hampir siap dan akan diserahkan kepada Pejabat Peguam Negara dalam masa seminggu lagi.

Bagaimanapun, katanya, pihak polis menjangkakan ada lagi tangkapan dan mereka turut menunggu laporan dari forensik.

"Kami telah merakamkan sebanyak 30 percakapan iaitu lapan pegawai Lembaga Peperiksaan, iaitu masing-masing seorang dari kementerian, jurutera dan wartawan serta 19 guru.

"Daripada 14 tangkapan itu, 11 diberi jaminan polis manakala tiga lagi masih direman hingga esok," katanya.

Pada 10 September lalu, Kementerian Pendidikan mengumumkan peperiksaan mata pelajaran Sains 018, 028 dan 038 UPSR yang sepatutnya diduduki pada Khamis lalu ditunda berikutan berlaku kebocoran kertas peperiksaan tersebut.

Keesokan harinya, peperiksaan mata pelajaran Bahasa Inggeris 014/1 dan 014/2 yang telah diduduki pelajar pula dibatalkan ekoran masalah sama.

Keadaan itu memaksa Lembaga Peperiksaan menetapkan 30 September ini sebagai tarikh baharu bagi peperiksaan kedua-dua kertas itu. ILAH HAFIZ AZIZ pengarang@utusan.com.my Utusan/Dalam_Negeri/20140922

Society must take the blame over UPSR leak

IT was disheartening to see the pictures of teachers and others who are allegedly involved in the UPSR leakage being led out of the courtroom.

They were dressed in orange and purple lock-up suits and were led out each accompanied by two police officers.

It was distressing to see them being manhandled and dragged out of the courtroom.

The whole nation, especially the UPSR candidates, their parents and their teachers, is furious over the leakage and the resit of the papers.

The credibility of the examinations and the integrity of the teaching profession have been tarnished with their single act of leaking the test papers.

With so much at stake and everything to lose if caught, why did they do it?

The UPSR is not a career or a university entrance examination that is highly sought after by students or parents.

The UPSR examination is merely used to gauge how far the Year Six pupils have advanced from Year One to Year Six and to measure the children’s performance in the primary school years.

Whatever the results, the Year Six children will still go on to Form One. So why did the examination papers get leaked?

If there was no demand for the papers then there would not have been any leakages.

Parents want their children to score A’s in the examination. Teachers want the children to perform well to push up the school’s Key Performance Index (KPI).

Tuition centres could become popular and sought after if they can provide examination questions to “push up” the results of their pupils in the examinations.

It has become a trend for tuition centres to spot questions for the examination.

Spotted questions that come out in the examinations raise the popularity and business of tuition centres.

An overemphasis and obsession with excellence and zero defect in examination by the Education Ministry and state departments can also push some small remote schools to resort to such backdoor tactics.

The UPSR examination results are used as a yardstick to assess and grade primary schools.

Schools that do not perform well in the examinations are reprimanded by the respective Education Department.

The Education Department and the ministry should not “pressure” schools to achieve academic excellence and zero defect in the school examinations.

Children are not machines to expect zero defect in examinations. And teachers are not superhumans to transform non-academically inclined children to achieve excellence in examinations.

Do pupils sitting for examinations learn in schools for the sake of knowledge or for the sake of scoring in examinations?

Do teachers teach for knowledge or for scoring in examinations?

The numerous trial examinations, the workshops, the holiday classes, the tuition classes and motivation seminars all point to the push for excellence.

Society as a whole has been res­­ponsible for the leakages.

The overemphasis of examination excellence for 12 year olds, the obsession of zero defect in examinations and our celebration of a string of A’s in examinations had led to the leakages.

SAMUEL YESUIAH  Seremban The STAR Home Opinion Letters 22 September 2014

Count your blessings always

CONTENTMENT is a state of happiness and satisfaction; feeling secure with what you have, what you are, and where you are heading right at this moment.

How many of us feel this way right now? I dare say not many.

A contented person is usually happy, cheerful and joyful; more importantly he feels fortunate, lucky and blessed.

Men by nature are greedy animals. We always want more of everything from wealth and riches to power and glory; our insatiable appetite for more and more has no limit.

That’s why we always hear of the expression “the rich get richer”.

Everybody wants more money and they will go all out to get as much as they can even if it involves huge risks, breaking the law or at the expense of those who deserve more.

While there is nothing wrong in reaching up to the skies, take a snapshot of yourself during this journey and count your blessings with what you already have and not with what you don’t have. It may not be that worthwhile to relentlessly pursue your dreams if the sacrifices made work against you in the longer term.

There are bound to be individuals with high ego who are not always contented with what they have; their hunger for more wealth, and lust for power will continue until their dying day or until they are incapacitated. Then who will get to enjoy their wealth? Your guess is as good as mine. But certainly not the person who kept sacrificing day in and day out and building up the huge empire.

What else do we want more? Besides money, we want more power, influence, fun, respect and others to kowtow to us, higher commissions, bigger and more lucrative contracts and more of this and that. But where will it end? It never will. This category of people are so consumed with enriching themselves that the greed factor has become an integral part of their lives and the unfortunate part of it all is that they are totally unaware.

This hunger for more can also lead to dire consequences or to one’s downfall or cause us more harm, anxiety, stress and even death. But with all the wealth and power, are they really happy and contented deep inside them?

In the process of continually enriching themselves, many overlook or lose the small joys of life. Sad to say, this category of people will never get the real feeling of contentment in their lifetime as they continue in their search for more wealth, power and glory. Men without contentment will continue to be so until they get a jolt through divine intervention.

What then are the lessons we all can draw upon?

-> Be content with whatever you have. For just one moment, look yourself in the mirror and see how picture-perfect your family is. Thank God for what you have, be content; there is not a need to continually look for greater riches at great expense and sacrifice;

-> Review and start analysing how you can make your short time on earth better. Make peace with oneself and reflect on who you really are. When are you going to say “enough is enough” and thank God for what you already have;

-> Learn when to let go; enjoy what you have built up and saved all these years and most importantly learn what exactly “contentment” is all about; and

-> If you are super rich, learn how to be a philanthropist; your wealth will be better spent for the poor and the less-fortunate than be squandered by others.

The truth of the matter is that we need much less than we think we need to be happy. We should be rejoicing in the way things are.

Oprah Winfrey put it aptly “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”.

DR POLA SINGH Kuala Lumpur The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 22 September 2014

Overloaded curriculum may lead to underperformance

ONE of the salient and conspicuous aspects of contemporary education and schooling is the constant push for change and reform in curriculum, methods of teaching and the applications of new technologies to learning and teaching.

One thing appears constant, and this appears to be change. Teachers are constantly reminded that the way to keep up with all of these demands is through constantly updating their professional development and applying the results of this to their teaching. Schools are pressured to add this or that new and “important” issue or concern to their curriculum. Much of this is taken for granted as the necessary characteristics of an educational system seeking to improve itself and adapt to change and the needs of “modern” society. There are many interests behind the calls to constantly update and change, and much of the motivation for this stems from good intentions. However, are all the results of this constant change and additions what we expect from teachers and what we expect to be learnt in schools always positive?

Economist and philosopher Amartya Sen has pointed out one issue which deserves attention and which may get lost among all the reforms (Banish Homework in Primary Schools, The Hindu, 2009). He points out the problems of curriculum overload.

We are increasing the demands on the curriculum and on teachers and students to such a degree that either we fail to teach the basics and essentials in our schools or we offload a lot of this to outside of school time. The curriculum becomes overloaded and education is the first casualty.

Not only do we now have to contend with the problem of an overloaded curriculum, the constant demands to change teaching practices and adaptation to new and apparently improved forms of pedagogy and so forth mean that there is a growing sense of frustration with constant change in many schools.

With excellent resources, high levels of staffing and an environment without the hindrance of social problems and disadvantage, you may be able to handle all of these demands and changes; although I think this problem of overload and reform fatigue affect us all in varying degrees.

However, in school environments that are disadvantaged, poorly resourced and poorly staffed, the effects of an overloaded curriculum and the desire to keep up with this or that latest technique in pedagogy or technology may lead to genuine crisis.

Part of properly engaging the problems of social justice and advancing educational opportunity for marginalised students in disadvantaged communities necessitate understanding the importance of focus, clarity, consistency and attention to basics which can be lost in an overloaded and constantly changing educational environment.

The seductions of this or that latest educational doctrine, pedagogical change or new demand on the curriculum must not get in the way of clear focus and an ability to follow through and be consistent in our approaches to education.

Modern societies are suffering from the effects of constant acceleration, increasing complexity and never ending claims that this or that new reform, technology or technique is the best thing since the last best thing before it (Social Acceleration: Ethical and Political Consequences of a Desynchronised High-Speed Society by Hartmut Rosa). Most of us barely have time to even grasp last week’s reform before this week’s change demands our attention. However, proper education rests on our capacity to slow things down, focus and pay attention to what is important. This is why schools must not always respond to or follow the latest fad or trend since slavish following of this or that “new” idea and constant addition to the curriculum can lead to confusion and anxiety, and this can diminish the educational experience of the child.

Curriculum overload and constant demands for change in schools can have significant negative consequences for both teachers and students.

This is an issue which is relevant across the schooling sector, but may play out with particularly damaging consequences in schools that suffer the effects of disadvantage. We ought to consider this when we think about the next change or addition that we make to schools and the demands on both teachers and students.

While many of the reforms and changes that we make to education may be inspired by good intentions and in many cases provide real benefits to teachers and students alike, we ought to also consider the unintended consequences of some of our reforms and changes, especially on those who are disadvantaged. Context is critical. The issue of curriculum reform as always involves balance and good judgement. Amartya Sen is on to something in his critique of curriculum overload, we ought to look at this issue very closely.   James Campbell NST Learning Curve 21 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:02 AM

Perspective: Revive the ethos of education

OUR fears have come true. Members of the teaching profession are suspected to be involved in the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) papers leak.

This is most unfortunate because there are high expectations of teachers. While the culprits deserve condemnation, labelling teachers as “cheaters” is extreme and insensitive. All professions have their fair share of black sheep.

That said, teachers are a special group entrusted to shape the future of their students from a young age. No other profession has this privilege.

This is where the difference lies and the leaks, therefore, are a letdown. To add insult to injury, the leaks coincided with the Asean Ministers of Education meeting in Laos where Malaysia was chair.

But the damage is done. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, said the image of Malaysia as an education hub is tainted.

It is best to exercise damage control with the long-term view that such embarrassment does not recur.

While it is logical to scrutinise work processes such as Standard of Procedures (SOPs) this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The remaining 90 per cent — the reasons for the breach of trust — are submerged in water.

If those reasons are not removed, SOPs cannot guarantee that there will be no more leaks.

It is in this context that the issue is most worrying because it implies that “education” itself is on soft ground where the practice of values is weakly grounded.

This is evident since a headmaster is allegedly part of the scam. It speaks volumes about the practice of ethics and moral values.

Or have we defined “success” in such a way that ethics and morality are not an integral part of it? That the leaks surfaced in the social media compounds the issue of ethics.

It is timely to talk about holistic student outcomes (HOSO) rather than fragmented academic versus non-academic outputs, especially at the UPSR level.

Over the years, the emphasis has been on academic performance alone based on one set of intelligences such that the whole person has been somewhat caricaturised as the model of success.

This notion is accepted as the one and only model, albeit with all the deficiencies embedded in it.

Similar to the economic measures of Gross Domestic Products stretched to falsely measure the state of human well-being, examination results too tend to be inflated.

Despite a glaring breach of intellect, we have grown to culturally accept the model as the “truth” — and pursue it relentlessly nationwide.

This so-called “truth” gets exploited by those who know no better. Often they are the gullible ones who look at education as a shortcut to so called “success” and the end justifies the means.

Therein lies the basic problem in what is seemingly a straightforward case of “cheating”. It is a stark challenge to the ethos of education.

Tightening processes is a good step in the right direction but it cannot be the final solution until the education ethos is in its rightful place.

The Education Blueprint recognises “ethics and spirituality” as one of the six student aspirations. But it must underpin the other five aspirations such as leadership, higher order thinking skills (HOTS), knowledge, bilingualism and national identity.

Without strong ethics and spirituality embedded as part of the processes of education, the aspiration to lead, for example, can be susceptible to corruption — it is worse if aided by HOTS with a focus on ways to cheat.

Ethics and spiritually must be the foundation of education in the country, and not merely another aspiration that is lowly prioritised. The UPSR leaks highlight that ethics and spirituality must be worked into the system by the end of Wave 1 of the transformation, that is a year from now.

This is to allow a solid foundation to move forward in an ethically-based education system with no more room for leaks in all sectors.

DZULKIFLI ABDUL RAZAK - NST Learning Curve 21 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:02 AM

Our future is in their hands

TEACHERS are taking a beating on social media in the wake of the leaked Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) Science and English papers scandal. Over the last few days, the number of individuals alleged to be involved have increased. Not all of them are teachers.

Several have been remanded to assist in police investigations and others have been arrested. And, considering that these were UPSR papers and not the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) papers, it is looking to be quite farcical, but no less disgraceful. It is natural for the public to take umbrage against teachers for they are a symbol of trust, arguably more important than that placed on, say, bank employees.

In teachers, the public expect exemplary behaviour so that the next generation may not only be of sound intellect, but also of impeccable character. Hence, this criminal debacle is difficult for Malaysians to bear and understandably so.

However, to tarnish every teacher with the same brush is a serious reflection of ill-considered criticism verging on mass hysteria. Malaysia has nearly half a million teachers in all, while those being held by the police numbered fewer than 10 at the moment. Now, what fraction of some half a million is this? It is fair to say that those apprehended, if found guilty, are criminals who landed teaching jobs by accident rather than design.

The hundreds of thousand others are doing the best they can, facing classes of often 40 pupils at various stages of development. This is no mean feat, and parents know this very well. The small modern family of two children is now almost the norm, and still, some parents find it near impossible to keep them properly supervised 24-7. Yet, children are left at school for just half a day, five days a week and they come home changed: initially they learn how to read, write and count.

As  they advance in years, schoolchildren become ever more educated with a well-rounded knowledge of the world and the necessary information to equip them for adulthood and all its attendant needs and challenges.

Once upon a time, there was no doubting the teacher’s position in society. Looked up to as the beacon of hope for a better life, they were well-respected. Social mobility which they help facilitate has often produced an amnesiac society forgetting the invaluable services rendered by teachers.

And despite all the complaints levelled at them, teachers plod on regardless. If they took offence to the never-ending critiques that put all blame on schools, like the unemployable graduates, for instance, Malaysia would suffer the consequences.

Schools, where the foundation for the country’s human capital is laid, must continue to function even when resources are tight. The hard evidence is there for all to see: public universities without the means to enrol every technically-qualified applicant. Teachers then, are the ones on whose backs the progress of this country was, is and will continue to be propelled. So, respect them!


NST Editorial 19 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:05 AM

Find creative ways to teach students

ONE of the most common excuses my students give when asked to use English during lessons is: “Why should I speak English when I was born Malay?”

And, everyone else in the class would agree with their friend in no time. That is the power of peer influence. They don’t foresee the challenge awaiting them in the future.

Lately, the issue of English proficiency has been taken more seriously, and new changes have been made in the education system to enhance the level of proficiency in students and teachers alike.

Previously, it was announced that starting from 2016, Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia candidates need to pass English in order to get their certificate. Just recently, it was announced that English would be made a must-pass subject for students in public universities and that they must be able to communicate effectively in English.

All these policies are carried out for the long-term objective of making Malaysia a developed country with a high quality workforce. It is deemed essential for us to have good communication skills to go further and higher.

To make these plans work well, we should not just sit back, relax and play the wait-and-see game. Instead, we should put every effort and help in any way we can.

I have several suggestions that may be useful for English lessons.

Before we get the students to read, write and think in English, we need to get them out of their fear of using English words. Students need to repeat after their teachers for correct pronunciation and enunciation. This drilling process will help learners get familiar with English words before they proceed with a harder task.

From a psychological point of view, psychologist B.F. Skinner supports this idea of learners learning through imitation and practice.

For weak learners, teaching English through songs is effective. I used to teach Form 1 students to sing My Favourite Things from the movie The Sound of Music. The song was catchy, so I took this chance to teach them body movements based on the lyrics. The activity lifted their mood and interest to learn the subject.

Teachers also need to provide extrinsic rewards. I remember buying my student Jeff Kinney’s book Diary of a Wimpy Kid for his achievement in maintaining good grades in English tests.

He finally managed to obtain an almost perfect score in the final exams and I couldn’t be any prouder.

Teachers should also give compliments and positive feedback for students’ effort. When learning a second language, extrinsic motivation is important to create a stress-free learning environment. They will develop their intrinsic motivation when the pleasure of learning takes over. At this stage, they will start seeking knowledge out of curiosity for self-improvement.

Another effective way is through English competitions. Students who participate in English programmes are more likely to perform better in oral communication and written tests.

My experience training students from different levels of proficiency for various English competitions has proven that participants manage to gain new vocabulary and improve their articulation skills.

Above all, they begin to build confidence conversing in English with their classmates.

Here, it is important for teachers not to correct too many grammatical mistakes the students make in their speech.

We need to get students ready for the new requirement to pass English before they leave school and university.

Muhamad Solahudin Ramli,Marang, Terengganu NST Letters 22 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:09 AM