Parents, teachers and students told to face challenge of new UPSR English format

Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) said teachers, parents and students must view positively the new format of Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) English language paper for comprehension and assessment.

The English language paper starting next year will be broken into two grades – one for comprehension and the other for writing or assessment.

On Monday, Malaysian Examinations Board (MEB) director Datin Nawal Salleh said in Putrajaya that previously the English paper test for the two was combined as one grade. Only the Bahasa Melayu paper had two grades.

“If we want transformation we must be able to adapt to change. Whatever it is, it is for the good of our future generation. One must look at the positive side of the new format,” said STU president Jisin Nyud when reacting to MEB’s statement on the new format next year.

“No doubt some quarters might disagree with the changes reasoning the pupils are not used to the format. However, students write a lot especially in secondary schools when sitting for PT3 and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia,” he said.

He hoped with the new format, teachers and students would be more exposed to comprehension and writing. Therefore teachers, in particular, would be ready on what to do next instead of facing last minute preparation, he added.

Yesterday, Sarawak Native Teachers Union (KGBS) said they were taken aback by the Ministry of Education’s announcement to separate comprehension and writing test of the English language paper.

Its president Ahmad Malie said the implementation of the new format was done in haste and some quarters wondered if schools could prepare their pupils to cope with it. However, KGBS said they supported the ministry and hoped that schools put stronger efforts to prepare students for the new format.

He said this might be a new way for the ministry to address effectively the issue of mastering English and improving English proficiency.

Meanwhile, Bernama quoted director-general of Education, Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, as saying in Port Klang yesterday the Education Ministry would go ahead with its decision to split the UPSR English examination paper into comprehension and assessment starting next year despite calls from National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) to defer the implementation.

He was also quoted as saying the department had informed the public since 2010 that changes would be made into the UPSR English examination format by 2016

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