November 23rd, 2016

Peperiksaan bukan lah sesuatu yang penting, namun keputusan peperiksaan yang membawa makna

Keputusan UPSR 2016 sudah pun diketahui. Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran dan Menteri Pelajaran ada dipetik berkata "Oleh kerana ini adalah peperiksaan pertama yang menggunakan format baru, kita tidak boleh membandingkan keputusan dengan keputusan tahun lepas yang menggunakan format lama, ". Adakah saya salah untuk menulis ini?

Kepada mereka yang baru sahaja mengambil UPSR, dan dengan keputusan yang ditunjukkan hanya 1.11% dari lebih 400,000 calon adalah cemerlang  dan itu adalah satu pencapaian yang luar biasa.

Jadi bagaimana pula dengan harapan calon atau ibu bapa, yang dikatakan bertungkus lumus dan membelanjakan banyak wang dengan menghadiri kelas tusyien atau pun kelas tambahan namun ada juga kenyataan biasa ‘tidak mendapat 6A sekarang bukanlah rugi, masih banyak masa lagi untuk memperbaiki keadaan’ dan perlu dingat calon-calon ini ada lagi 6 tahun untuk menghadapi SPM pula.

Sama ada anda berjaya melakukan dengan baik atau tidak, masih ada masa untuk memperbaiki pencapaian yang telah pun terlepa.  Lagipun, itu bukanlah penamat terhadap kehidupan di  dunia seperti yang disimbah dalam berita. Tidak mendapat  gred yang terbaik  bukanlah  perkara yang paling teruk.

Kini adakah beribu-ribu calon UPSR akan menghabiskan cuti  mereka dalam kebimbangan atau  berfikir akan hasil usaha dan kerja keras mereka itu hanya sia-sia sahaja?

Kanak-kanak adalah kanak-kanak, dan kita harus memberitahu mereka satu perkara mudah, ‘yang lepas usahlah dikenang, lihat sahaja kehadapan, harungi masa depan dengan lebih jaya’. Mudahkan !

Tetapi "apa yang sudah, sudahlah" bukanlah satu nasihat yang cukup baik dan pasti tidak boleh mencerminkan nilai yang diletakkan di atas kejayaan akademik di dunia moden yang sangat kompetitif.

Bagi sekolah-sekolah yang baik, pihak mereka pasti mampu melegakan tekanan dengan menganjurkan  program kesedaran, dan akan  memberitahu pelajar bahawa peperiksaan bukan satu-satunya atau sememangnya aspek yang paling penting dalam pendidikan.

Peperiksaan bukan lah sesuatu yang penting, namun keputusan peperiksaan yang membawa makna.

Sesebuah institusi persekolahan yang baik dalam pasaran pendidikan sentiasa percaya dalam pendidikan yang menyeluruh dengan menyediakan aktiviti : sukan, muzik, drama, ilmu bertanggungjawab keatas orang lain, belajar untuk hidup.

Itulah yang banyak sekolah sentiasa isytiharkan sebagai nilai teras mereka, dan sering dipromosikan dengan jayanya.

Sudah tentu, program melegakan tekanan boleh menyediakan penawar yang berguna kepada tumpuan yang berlebihan di atas pencapaian kejayaan peperiksaan. Tetapi ia adalah mitos sekolah, nilai-nilai teras  yang  mewujudkan persekitaran di mana pelajar dan individu memperolehi kesejahteraan komuniti sekolah dipupuk.

Dalam terma yang paling mudah, setiap orang perlu melakukan yang terbaik: yang terbaik untuk sekolah mereka, yang terbaik untuk diri mereka sendiri. Biasanya, tetapi tidak semestinya dalam aturan tersebut.

Sekolah-sekolah hebat dan terpilih biasanya  mengekalkan mereka  yang mendapatkan keputusan peperiksaan yang terbaik, tanpa bimbang dengan apa saja keputusan yang diperolehi.  Mereka juga membuka laluan ilmiah dan kerjaya untuk murid mereka dengan mengaitkan apa yang berlaku di dalam kelas dunia yang lebih luas.

Meningkatkan hasrat dan  keinginan untuk semua calon patut menjadi sasaran setiap institusi l pendidikan.

Jadi walau apa saja pencapaian yang diperolehi dan kepada setiap calon marilah kita mengucapkan syabas kepada yang mencapai  kejayaan cemerlang, bersimpati kepada yang tersasar dan terus membantu dan berusaha meningkatkan pencapaian mereka untuk sumber terbaik negara kita;  anak-anak kita. masa depan kita.

Azizi Ahmad adalah seorang pendidik

Tardiness and its domino effect

MANY of us attend meetings and business appointments, which sometimes require us to be on time. However, some of us take punctuality for granted.

This is a waste of time and affects those who are punctual. One has to kill time waiting for people to turn up.

To a certain extent, the lack of punctuality even jeopardises a business deal or causes negative perceptions.

Being tardy is bad for one’s professional image.
In my recent appointments, I realised that it had become a common practice for people to arrive 20 to 45 minutes late. Is this the Malaysian standard time?

We tend to blame it on the traffic or the lack of parking space.

I, too, used to be tardy but over the years, the multinational corporate culture has trained me to be punctual.

Being punctual means being earlier than the agreed time.

I make it a point to arrive 15 to 20 minutes earlier than the appointed time.

Being punctual gives me a great deal of confidence. I have cultivated the habit of being punctual but the price I often have to pay is waiting for the other party.

Therefore, I fill in the gap by doing work such as my personal scheduling and planning.

However, when the meeting is delayed, it causes the discussion to finish either late or within a short span of time. The lack of punctuality causes a domino effect for other planned tasks or the quality of the meeting.

We must cultivate the habit of being punctual for meetings and appointments, regardless of whom we are meeting. We are often punctual if we are meeting someone who is in a higher position than us.

Punctuality must be applied to all meetings and appointments to ensure effective time management and productivity.

Life equals time. Let us manage the limited time that we have effectively in this given life by being punctual.

Encourage pupils to do their best, but set realistic goals

Examination results day has developed its own ritual. For many newspapers, the most famous has always been front-page pictures of students showing off their results slip or proud parents hugging their straight-A children with stories inside on high-achieving twins or youngsters overcoming adversity.

However, it was a totally different atmosphere this year when only 4,896 pupils achieved straight As for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination compared with 38,344 pupils last year.

Unlike previous years, the New Straits Times carried the headline, “In Disbelief Over UPSR”, on its front page. Last week saw teachers and parents — who were seeing UPSR results they could not explain — having to devote more time to help pupils cope with their emotions on that day.

Every year, we have the same philosophical battles when it comes to exams. Why this system? It’s so unfair, it doesn’t measure true ability, it favours those with proficient memories — these were among the questions thrown by parents.

Those who sat the UPSR this year are the first cohort of the new system implemented for Year One pupils in 2011.

The Education Ministry’s reasoning was that the extensive changes in the new UPSR format to test for higher order thinking skills (HOTS) is the reason for the dip in straight As.

With different types of questions this year, it would be wrong to compare with last year’s results.

Critics, meanwhile, blame the sharp decline on an “ill-thought-out” policy, while many others who just do not understand the recent uproar responded, “It is only UPSR. Why are we so kiasu?”

Exams are a rite of passage which help teach these young people discipline and give them structure.

However, failure is not so fashionable because many of us define ourselves by our academic achievement when we were young, using grades to boost self-esteem.

Adults know that the actual UPSR grades are of very little interest by the time these children sit PT3.

But, 12-year-olds are not especially known for their level-headedness and the results — a culmination of a few years of work — are the first momentous event of their school life.

The weight of expectation can be extremely heavy. It can be overt from predicted grades, or more subtle, such as through comparisons with older siblings’ achievements.

When stirred in with any inadvertent reinforcement by schools or parents, it is hardly surprising some pupils are hit hard when they do worse than they had hoped. We have to try and soften the change to protect our children.

For a start though, teachers and parents could have been reminded much earlier on to not compare this year’s UPSR results with last year’s.

Pupils then would have been briefed to not expect too many As to “prepare” them for the disappointment before the results were announced.

But, the real problem actually stems from the drive to keep the proportion of pupils awarded straight As stable year-on-year.

For too many years it has been encouraged and celebrated by us, the adults. For parents, their children’s results are bragging rights for social media sharing and “wall-to-wall” coverage.

No doubt without the straight As, some parents are worried of the effect this would have on their children’s self-esteem and perhaps, future prospect for a place at boarding schools.

At the same time, schools are judged on the proportion of pupils achieving all As.

Earlier, teachers were worried by the “sudden” change in exam format, claiming that they would not have ample time and proper guidelines to prepare the pupils.

That left schools lacking familiar benchmarks while having to adopt the new assessments, and made them more nervous.

The uncertainty undermined the confidence of teachers to prepare pupils, and the results confirmed their worst fears.

It has become a trend in schools for hopeful straight-A pupils to be identified from early in the school year to be groomed for success, sometimes resulting in less effort when teaching very low-ability pupils in the same school.

Inadvertently we have hindered the children’s development by piling pressure on teachers to drive the numbers up.

Some schools went to the extreme in “motivating” these pupils of their potential by getting them to wear button badges on their school uniforms that state they were future straight-A students.

While this has led to teachers focusing their energy on the pupils most likely to score for the exam, disappointment can taste very bitter to those who have been publicly predicted to achieve excellent exam results, but did not.

We are too involved in our children’s results. It’s time to let go. In order to ensure the success of the Malaysia Education Blueprint, we have to tread a delicate line, to encourage pupils to aspire to do their best, while at the same time setting realistic goals.

Education and the exam results that follow should be about what a pupil has gained in terms of knowledge and understanding.

The first step towards this educational reform would require teachers, parents and even social media commentators to stop seeing examination results as the main focus.

Instead of assessing candidates on how they compare with their national year group, it should be on whether they have reached a particular standard.

Parents now need to know what a Grade D means in terms of what their child needs to learn and teachers must be aware of those who are in their class with Grade E.

We have to get to the idea that schools and examinations are about individual pupils’ knowledge and understanding of that knowledge.

For those pupils whose dreams were dashed on results day last week, the danger is that they may be vulnerable when experiencing disappointments in their lives.

They might not want to step up to challenges in the future because it is such a bitter pill to swallow if they don’t succeed.

Support is crucial, not just on the day, but over a period of time. Hazlina Aziz The NST Opinion Columnist 23 November 2016 @ 11:01 AM