AS a teacher, I sympathise with students who just sat the Moral paper in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination. I can't believe the Malaysian Examination Syndicate (MES) changed the format of the exam.
Why did they do it without informing the teachers or students? This is absurd. What was the intention?
I have been the target of many students' frustration and my phone has been ringing non-stop. The Moral paper has been challenging over the years, but was not a problem for hardworking students.
Basically, the structure and essay questions were based on the 36 moral values in the Forms 4 and 5 syllabus. What the students have to do is memorise the definition and key words and apply them, based on the situations given in the questions.
The structure of the questions were clear. If it required students to give the moral value, it would state so clearly. It also gives definition of moral values or requests students to give reasons or examples.
All the questions were clear. The essay question provided a situation and the students were required to provide solutions supporting the answer with the correct moral value, example and elaboration.
The MES has been consistent with such a format for 12 years. All Moral subject teachers are familiar with this format and have been teaching the students to apply certain common techniques when answering questions.
Sadly, this year, many of my students said they were not only asked to give their reactions, but also express their feelings in the structured questions. They were asked to simply give suggestions, lessons learnt and solutions in the essay questions. Students complained that it was not clear if they had to give moral values.
It is all right if MES is of the opinion that the new format is more effective, but why were the teachers not informed? It is sad because what was taught by teachers and what was in the exam paper were different.
P. Karuppan, Banting, SelangorNew Straits Times Online Home News Opinion Letters-to-the-editor 27/11/2013