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'Less exam-oriented' but still 'tests' are around

Shifting away from test-centric education system, says deputy D-G

THE education system is set to be less exam-oriented with the introduction of a new system of assessment named Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (PBS). It will involve all primary and lower secondary students beginning 2016.

The assessment system which was introduced to Year One pupils last year and Form One students this year will also see the introduction of "an enhanced" Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) for Year Six pupils in 2016, and the discontinuation of Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) in 2014 for Form Three students.

Deputy director-general of education Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said students would be assessed on academic and non-academic fields.

"Such assessment will be carried out continuously in schools by teachers for all subjects throughout the year. It will include school and central assessments; assessment of physical, sports and co-curricular activities; and a psychometric (aptitude) assessment.

"The questions for the central assessments will be prepared by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate and it would be used by all schools.

"Teachers will evaluate both the school and the central assessments in their respective schools," he told the New Sunday Times.

Pupils in Year One, Two and Three, however, Khair added, would not be involved in the centralised assessments.

For UPSR, he said, 40 per cent of the final results would be based on school assessments with the rest to be divided between centralised assess and the public examination.

"Points accumulation will begin from Year Four based on school and central assessments. The public examination will only contribute a small percentage to the overall UPSR results," he said, adding that the objective of the PBS was for all primary and secondary schools to focus more on learning rather than examinations.

Khair also said that although Form Three students would no longer sit for a public examination, they will be evaluated and certified based on the school and central assessments.

"They will be evaluated based on their performance from Form One up to Form Three.

"This means students who are in Form One now would have begun accumulating their points which will add up to their final results in Form Three."

The Education Ministry, he said, would give out an achievement certificate to Form Three students based on their performance.

Khair, however, said the ministry had yet to name the certification.

Teachers, Khair said, would conduct formative assessments and also summative assessments during the learning process, which are normally carried out at the conclusion of a learning unit or at the end of a semester or at the end of the year.

"This does not mean that teachers have to create test papers or handouts as instruments every time they have to assess pupils' achievement.

With these assessments in place, school-based tests and examinations would be reduced, he said.


By CHANDRA DEVI RENGANAYAR  KUALA LUMPUR  news@nst.com.my

Source: The New Straits Times Letters to the Editor 04 March 2012 
Tags: assessment, education, teachers
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