PBS system worrying

Tuesday December 25, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/12/25/focus/12502842&sec=focus

I AM a parent of a Form One child. Last year, my son got 5A’s in the UPSR exam and being in a streamed secondary school, he is now in the first class with those with the same results as him.

The Education Ministry started the PBS (Penilaian Berasaskan Sekolah) early this year and parents were briefed on the process of teaching and learning using the PBS.

Students will be assessed from time to time for all subjects and will be given grades according to Band One to Band Six throughout the year.

I was told that students in Form One will not be sitting for any exams up to Form Three. The problem is, parents need to know his or her child’s progress in school.

Under the old system, parents would be called to the school at least twice a year, after the mid-year exam and also after the final exam.

Parents of children in the other forms can check their children’s progress through the SAPS but not the Form One students.

Having no year-end exam under the PBS system has made many of the children unproductive and the PBS has created a non-challenging environment among them.

I am not against the PBS system, but can we do away with having no exams at all?

I thought the PBS system is an ongoing process where the children will be graded into the bands after each topic or each syllabus has been completed and the grades will be accumulated into 60% of the child’s performance for the year.The other 40% would be taken from the exams in school. This way, no child will be left out.

I checked out a few schools and to my dismay, some schools

are having exams just like before and some schools, as I was told, are following the directive of the ministry and there are no exams for Form One.

I asked a senior assistant in a school and he said that if they had the exams it meant they were not following the ministry’s orders. This means that the school is going against the ministry’s directive.

I just wonder how the system is like in Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (SBP) – fully residential schools – or in MRSM; I bet they have their own exams unlike the children in government schools.

Most international schools have the system that I have mentioned.

I understand that the Education Ministry is coming up with many plans under the Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia (PPPM).

Upon checking my son’s schoolwork, I found there was no homework and there were not many exercises done in class.

I understand that teachers spend a lot of time doing the PBS exercises in class and updating the student’s grades, the grades which are unknown to the parents.

What is the rationale of not having a standardised exam but giving students a standardised set of PBS worksheet/tests/quiz, and so forth.

If a good student can complete a task easily and the other students can’t, then they are given time to complete the work.

What then will happen to the good student?

Is he or she allowed to go to the next band?

I can’t imagine they are going to be in this situation for two more years up till Form Three.

Principals and teachers could not explain what is to become of Form One students when they are in Form Three, when there will be no exams.

If there is no PMR, how would the students be chosen for SBP or MRSM.

How are the students being streamed into Science, Arts or Technical classes?

There are so many unanswered questions.

But in the meantime, please have the 60% and 40% system as the good students need to explore their potential and the slower ones will not be left out.

WORRIED PARENT

Ipoh