2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keibubapaan, Pembangunan Sekolah, Peperiksaan, Rencana, Sistem, Surat

Reexamining attitudes to exams

08 November 2012 | last updated at 11:31PM

  By Chok Suat Ling  | sling@nst.com.my 0 comments

STRESS TEST: Parents need to be open to new methods of assessments to relieve the strain on their children

.While praising the high-achievers, spare a thought to those who didn’t do so well.

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IT’S Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia week. And it was just announced that the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah results will be out on Nov 19.

The students, as well as their parents and relatives, will probably feel as if there is a great Serengeti wildebeest migration in their stomachs right now.

Those who are their Facebook friends know how they feel only too well through the deluge of status updates about public examinations this past week. There was a cacophony of chatter online — some were concerned over the exams, others anguished or despondent. One parent had to be consoled by her son who told her: “Don’t worry”, as she dropped him off for the SPM.

Another became hysterical when her daughter called to inform her that one paper was more difficult than expected.

Failure to secure exemplary results, it appears, continues to be perceived as failing in life. Stress is placed on excellent results, and adulation heaped upon those who score well. This will only, in the long run, serve to permanently damage the self-esteem of pupils with average results.

This emphasis on stellar results has also created unhealthy behavioural patterns in pupils who generally perform better than their classmates.

Cruel taunts of, “I got an A and you only got a C”, and other similar jibes are often heard in the schoolyard. Monsters such as these are created by a society which puts high-achievers on a pedestal. The media, too, shares some of the blame for giving excessive coverage and highlighting only those who scored strings of As.

This scenario stubbornly persists despite all the measures that have been taken by the Education Ministry to make the education system less exam-oriented.

The number of subjects students can take for SPM has been capped to stop the obsession with breaking the illustrious record of As just because it is there to be broken.

The Phase One Assessment Test (Penilaian Tahap Satu) was scrapped in 2001, five years after it was introduced, to prevent parents from using it as an additional avenue to “traumatise their children”.

The test enabled pupils to be promoted from Year Three to Five but it brought about dire repercussions. The ministry said in a statement then: “We found that pupils taking PTS were subjected to unnecessary pressure by their parents who viewed it as a status symbol when their child was promoted. On the other hand, pupils who did not perform well were mentally traumatised as they were made to feel like failures.”

The most recent change introduced to cut the exam knot is the school-based assessment system (PBS), part of wide reforms outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025. This, however, is currently being resisted by parents.

Some with children in Year One and Form One are contending that there is a lot of confusion surrounding the PBS. There are claims that not all teachers have been trained and that it allowed for favouritism and discrimination.

“I disagree with some of the assessment methods. For instance, some of the test papers (with the same questions) are given out three times until a child gets a perfect score. What is the rationale for this?

“Then there is the overload of projects, group work and presentations. If you ask the children, they rather sit for exams,” one parent said with arms akimbo.

Another pointed out that there was very little teaching taking place in classrooms as teachers had too much to handle under the new system.

Optimistically, the ministry had acknowledged all these complaints and said on Saturday that the PBS might need some tweaking.

But for the system to work, it needs the support of all parents, and a change in the way they perceive examinations. Indeed, the Malaysian examination system has been reviewed numerous times, but what seems as much in need of an overhaul is the attitudes of parents.

Nothing introduced will work if parents insist on pushing their children to heights unimaginable and impossible.

Examinations should only be for assessing whether a child comprehends what has been learnt so far. It must not instil fear, nor cause a child to be shrouded in an overwhelming sense of worthlessness if one less A shows up on the result slip.

Chok Suat Ling is New Sunday Times editor.

Read more: Reexamining attitudes to exams – Columnist – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/reexamining-attitudes-to-exams-1.168210?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwage63Dp%3A%2Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.3D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwage63Dp%3A%2Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.111w5ii%2Fed-1.1176%2F%2F2.2525%2F2.2525%2F1.331200%3Fcache%3D03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwage63Dp%3A%2Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.111w5ii%2Fed-1.1176%2F%3FparentPage%3D2.%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.27722%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.%3Fcache%3D03D163D03ntPage%3D2.%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.27722%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.2772%2F7.%3Fcache%3D03D163D03edd1ng-pred-1.1176%2F%2F1.331200%2F7.184239%3Fkey%3DKuala+Lumpur%3Fpage%3D0%2F7.191968%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz2Bavr8S34
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2012, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Subjek

Science stream entry standards to remain

Thursday, November 08, 2012

0 comments

KUALA LUMPUR: The minimum requirement to enrol into the science stream in schools stays, despite the alarmingly low number of students.
Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the government would not lower standards just to increase numbers.
“We cannot allow students who are interested to enter the stream but failed to meet the requirements.
“These students should stick to the arts stream as they might not be able to cope later,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Worry over the low take-up prompted a proposal on Tuesday that parents whose children opted for the stream be given tax breaks. This followed a finding that only 20 per cent of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia candidates this year were from the science stream, well below the national target of 60 per cent.
National Union of the Teaching Profession president Hashim Adnan said while there should be no compromise on students eligibility to enter the stream, once they did, the students should be given support as there were many who had to struggle.
“Students are afraid of failing and hence choose not to enter the science stream,” Hashim said, adding that teachers should also be given incentives to coach their science stream students in schools instead of giving private tuition.
“Science stream subjects must also be taught in a more interesting way so that students would have better comprehension.”
Meanwhile, Education director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said a task force, comprising academicians and the relevant authorities, would be set up by the end of the month to work out the incentive structure
Academicians, meanwhile, have asked that the ministry draw up incentives, such as free tuition and coaching, for students who opted for the science stream.

Read more: Science stream entry standards to remain – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/science-stream-entry-standards-to-remain-1.168296#ixzz2Bav7FTXH

2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

Stop politicising teaching of English

Thursday November 8, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/8/focus/12289406&sec=focus
I CAN’T understand how politicians can play down the importance of the English language in education but yet enrol their offsprings in international or private schools that they can well afford.

Is it simply because they want to have the upper hand over their underlings?

Surely they don’t think the rakyat can be easily hoodwinked again and again.

Stop politicising education and do what’s right for the next generation.

We have already lost two generations due to the change in the medium of instruction from English to Bahasa.

Unless we intend to remain backward and have no plan of advancing towards Vision 2020, we could stay in denial forever.

The world today is borderless and in order to catch up with the rest and progress, we need to think out of the box and advance instead of retreating into our coconut shells.

Unless we are prepared to inculcate meritocracy in education, we will be the laughing stock of the world in the near future.

LIM BEE HOON

Batu Pahat

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Masalah Pelajar, Rencana, Surat

‘Being different’ can make you fair game

Thursday November 8, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/8/focus/12278203&sec=focus

Musings
By Marina Mahathir

Our schools are no longer a safe space for our children because adults have decreed that certain children may be subject to discrimination.

RECENTLY, a 14-year-old boy was set upon by two schoolboys at a bus stop and beaten so badly that he died. His crime? He “walked funny”.

I read this story about this incident in Malacca and my heart bled for every mother involved in this case.

I cried for the mother who lost her only son, and I also cried for the other mothers forced to face the fact that their sons had blood on their hands. All of them must be wondering the same thing: Why?

I can posit a theory why. In our country today, we now have an atmosphere where we do not tolerate anyone different.

Our schools have no longer become a safe space for our children because adults have decreed that certain children may be subject to discrimination.

Indeed, the very people who should be there to protect our children have even put up “guidelines” on which children to pick on. In particular, those boys who don’t seem “boy” enough and those girls who don’t seem “girl” enough.

The result is that our children, taking the cue from adults, thus feel they can pick on any of their schoolmates who fit these “descriptions”, as amorphous as they may be, with impunity.

They know full well that if they did anything to those children, then adults will not only not punish them, they may even praise and reward them.

The lack of outrage that this murder has happened is telling. Are we saying that any boy who “walks funny” is fair game? What other quirk may attract violence?

Bullying has really become an epidemic in our schools. Every week or so, we see reports of all sorts of incidents of bullying, where some schoolchildren pick on others, usually those who are defenceless and weak. Or children who become so scared to go to school that they become very stressed out, even sometimes to the point of suicide.

Yet so little is being done to stop these incidents. We don’t even seem interested to know why they happen.

Are our schools over-crowded? Do our kids think of schools as safe spaces or as battlefields that they have to negotiate every day? How does any child learn anything if they are scared of school?

Bullying does not happen in a vacuum. Children learn from adults. If they see adults using bullying as a way of exercising power, then that is exactly the type of behaviour they will emulate.

There is no shortage of bully power in the adult world around them, so why should we be surprised that children become bullies?

A friend I know told the story of how he was bullied at school just because he had slit eyes and was mistaken for another race. Where would children get the idea that this is acceptable?

Bullying is also a form of self-protection. If a child perceives that certain physical traits or behaviours are likely to attract the attention of bullies, what better way to deflect attention and at the same time protect himself or herself than by becoming a bully as well?

Has the Education Ministry come up with any guidelines on the prevention of bullying in school?

It must start with defining what bullying is and making it clear that all forms of bullying, whether physical, verbal or emotional, is unacceptable. And that it is not to be tolerated, whether it is by students or teachers.

But then adults often face bullying in the workplace, which sometimes comes in the form of sexual harassment, yet we still do not have a law against it.

So how can we hope to deal with it in schools when we won’t deal with it in adulthood? I think it is high time the most impacted people fought back. That’s schoolchildren and mothers. School­children should form anti-bullying clubs in schools to find ways to deal with the issue, both to prevent it and to protect one another.

Instead of always having teachers advise them what to do, they should come up with the solutions themselves because only they know what an unsafe school atmosphere feels like. There are NGOs that can facilitate this.

Mothers should start a new movement called something like Mothers Against Bullying.

We love our children and don’t want them to suffer in school, so we need to take action. We need to show our children that their safety and well-being at school is our concern, not just their grades.

Mothers have to demand this before more of our children are hurt or killed.

But the best prevention really is a social environment that is understanding, tolerant and respectful of differences. Do we have that these days?

2012, Arkib Berita, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar

Dipaksa mengaku jalin hubungan sulit dengan guru

Pendang: Seorang pelajar lelaki di sebuah sekolah berasrama penuh di sini membuat laporan polis mendakwa dipaksa membuat pengakuan berzina dengan seorang guru sandaran wanita di sekolah itu.Laporan itu dibuat pelajar berusia 16 tahun itu di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Pendang, di sini, kira-kira jam 3.30 petang semalam selepas pengakuan yang dipaksa dibuatnya itu menyebabkannya menerima kesan, termasuk diberhentikan sekolah.

Pelajar itu yang hanya ingin dikenali sebagai Wan berkata, dia dipaksa membuat pengakuan itu kira-kira sebulan lalu ketika dipanggil ke sebuah bilik oleh guru disiplin pada 2 Oktober lalu.

Katanya, seorang guru yang ditemui kemudian menuduhnya melakukan hubungan sulit dengan seorang guru sandaran wanita berusia 20-an yang mengajar bahasa Inggeris. Malah, guru itu turut mendakwa mempunyai bukti kukuh mengenai kejadian itu.

Tunjuk bukti

“Saya menafikannya dan meminta guru berkenaan menunjukkan bukti, namun guru itu enggan atas alasan ia untuk simpanan sekolah. Guru itu kemudian memberikan saya sehelai kertas dan pen lalu memaksa saya menulis surat pengakuan.
“Akur dengan arahan itu, saya menulis surat pengakuan dalam keadaan terpaksa, walaupun tidak berpuas hati kerana berasa dianiaya atas tuduhan tanpa bukti itu.

“Susulan itu, pihak sekolah menghubungi bapa saya dan memintanya datang ke sekolah sebelum saya dimaklumkan digantung persekolahan sehingga 15 Oktober lalu,” katanya ketika ditemui.

Wan mendakwa, dua hari kemudian dua guru lelaki datang semula ke rumahnya memaksanya mengisi borang pertuduhan kes berkenaan.

“Dua guru lelaki itu termasuk ustaz datang ke rumah dan mengajak saya ke sebuah kedai makan atas alasan untuk menenangkan fikiran saya. Bagaimanapun, saya tidak dibawa ke kedai berkenaan, sebaliknya diminta mengisi borang pertuduhan dan menandatanganinya sebelum dihantar semula ke rumah.

Surat berhenti sekolah

“Selepas itu, pada 21 Oktober lalu, saya terima surat pemberhentian daripada pihak sekolah yang bertarikh 15 Oktober. Ia amat memusykilkan kerana surat penggantungan bertarikh 4 Oktober hanya diterima pada 24 Oktober.

“Justeru, saya tampil membuat laporan polis untuk membersihkan nama selepas berasakan diri teraniaya,” katanya.

Sementara itu, ibu saudara pelajar terbabit yang enggan dikenali berkata, keluarganya tidak berpuas hati dengan cara pihak sekolah mengendalikan kes berkenaan kerana mereka dinafikan hak untuk mendapatkan penjelasan yang sewajarnya.

“Saya terima jika tuduhan itu benar, namun mereka tidak memanggil keluarga berbincang dan langsung tidak menunjukkan sebarang bukti jelas serta semuanya hanya pada peringkat dakwaan,” katanya.

Sementara itu, polis mengesahkan menerima laporan yang dibuat pelajar terbabit.

2012, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Biasiswa/Pinjaman/Bantuan/Insentif, Masalah Guru, Pembangunan Sekolah, Subjek

Syor guru sains diberi insentif khas

Kuala Lumpur: Kerajaan dicadang memberi insentif khas kepada guru yang mengajar subjek aliran sains bagi membolehkan mereka menerokai kaedah pengajaran baru, sekali gus menarik lebih ramai pelajar dalam bidang itu.Presiden Majlis Permuafakatan PIBG Nasional (PIBGN), Prof Madya Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Hassan turut mencadangkan kerajaan menghantar tenaga pengajar terbabit mengikuti latihan amali ketika cuti sekolah.

“Kebanyakan pelajar kurang berminat mengikuti aliran sains berikutan kaedah pembelajaran yang agak membosankan kerana banyak menumpukan teori tanpa amali.

“Justeru, kaedah pengajaran dan pembelajaran perlu berubah seiring peredaran masa bagi memastikan sasaran meningkatkan pelajar sains kepada 60 peratus dapat dicapai,” katanya ketika dihubungi, semalam.

Kelmarin, Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dilaporkan berkata kerajaan menimbang memberi potongan cukai kepada ibu bapa sebagai insentif mendorong anak mereka belajar dalam aliran sains.

2012, Arkib Berita, Biasiswa/Pinjaman/Bantuan/Insentif, ICT/Teknologi, Masalah Guru, Pembangunan Sekolah, Sistem

Ramai pengguna punca capaian SPPBS terganggu

8 November 2012, Khamis

KUALA LUMPUR 7 Nov. – Capaian Sistem Pengurusan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (SPPBS) sering tergendala dan sukar diakses oleh guru adalah disebabkan bilangan pengguna mencecah 40,000 orang dalam satu-satu masa.

Bagaimanapun, Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Dr. Mohd. Puad Zarkashi berkata, kementerian itu telah mengambil langkah interim dengan menyediakan hosting khas secara berasingan bagi PBS dan Aplikasi Pangkalan Data Murid (APDM).

“Proses migrasi hosting’ bagi sistem terbabit sudah selesai dilaksanakan pada akhir September lalu dan pada masa ini, ia stabil dan boleh diakses.

“Kita mengambi maklum mengenai kesulitan yang dihadapi guru dalam mengakses sistem PBS. Malah, kita turut mendapat maklum kesukaran itu berpunca daripada sikap segelintir guru yang lebih gemar melaksanakan tugas pada saat akhir khususnya ketika tiba musim cuti sekolah,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika menjawab soalan Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin (PASBukit Gantang) tentang pengenalan sistem PBS di sekolah serta masalah keberkesanan dalam pelaksanaanya termasuk sukar diakses dan lambat.

Mengulas soalan sama, Mohd. Puad menjelaskan, sebanyak 2,501 buah sekolah di seluruh negara juga sudah dilengkapi peralatan Customer Premis Equipment (CPE) dibawah Projek 1BestariNet bagi mempertingkatkan capaian akses internet di sekolah.

“Kemudahan jalur lebar yang disediakan menerusi projek 1BestariNet adalah berasaskan teknologi 4G dengan kelajuan minimum 4 Megabait sesaat (Mbps) sehingga kelajuan maksimum iaitu 20Mbps.

“PBS ini adalah usaha kerajaan dalam membangunkan modal insan berilmu pengetahuan, mempunyai kemahiran serta menghayati nilai murni agar dapat menjadi kompetetif dan relevan dalam era globalisasi ini,” ujarnya.

Walau bagaimanapun, beliau memberitahu, pihaknya belum bercadang untuk menyediakan elaun khas kepada guru-guru dalam melaksanakan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (PBS).