Wednesday, May 9, 2007

No More UPSR & PMR Exams

Wished they implemented this years ago, then I won't have to be stressed out over examinations in my early life!! :)

The Malaysian Examinations Syndicate (MES) has proposed the abolishment of two major public examinations – the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) in Year Six and the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) in Form Three.

Its director Datuk Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah said there would be no public examination at the primary and lower secondary levels following the proposed introduction of school-based assessment.

“If this is approved, the UPSR will be conducted for the last time in 2012 and the PMR in 2015,” he said.

The MES has proposed five forms of assessment for students in the national education system. These will be piloted in the 30 pioneer cluster schools next year. They are:

- SCHOOL assessment – planned, developed, conducted, examined and reported by teachers in schools.

- CENTRAL assessment – involving standards, instruments, data analyses and guidelines provided by the MES.

- l CENTRAL examination – fully conducted by the MES.

l PSYCHOMETRIC tests – used to measure students’ innate abilities.

- l PHYSICAL activity assessment – used to evaluate and measure students’ performance and involvement in extra-curricular activities.

The MES has recommended that only the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia for Form Five students be retained as a public, central examination at the upper secondary level.

Under the proposed move, Dr Adi said, various methods would be used to gather data about students’ growth and development, performance and achievement.

“We will empower teachers to conduct school-based assessment and give them the tools and training to carry it out effectively.

“School assessment will be given due recognition and acknowledgement,” he said after delivering the keynote address at a forum on educational assessment here yesterday.

According to Dr Adi, the ultimate aim is to reduce over-reliance and over-dependence on data obtained through centralised public examinations for information about students.

MES is devising psychometric tests which will be introduced in schools to help teachers gather data on their students – including their innate abilities, strengths, weaknesses, talents, aptitudes, attitudes, personalities and interests – to understand them better,

“There has been too much attention given to public examinations. School is now looked upon as a process of preparing students for public examinations. School assessment has lost significance and the outcome is not taken into account in students’ final grade,” said Dr Adi.

He added that the current assessment used was not holistic enough.

“The focus should not only be on academic aspects. We should also assess students’ personal and character development and involvement in extra-curricular activities.”

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