PUTRAJAYA: Starting from next year, primary school pupils from Years One to Three will not be sitting for mid-year and final exams to allow schools to focus more on teaching and help pupils discover the joy of learning.
Education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said continuous assessment will take place as part of teaching (by the teacher) and learning (by pupils) through Classroom-Based Assessment (PBD).
He said with standardised examination comes comparison and competition between schools, states and even students individually. Instead, emphasis in the classroom should be given to character development (of the pupils) rather than exam-oriented learning.
“Previously, pupils who achieve straight-As set the standard for what other pupils should accomplish. Examinations will only give excessive pressure to pupils and teachers to achieve excellent academic performance which is not aligned with our current education principal.”
He added that when the teachers and pupils are too focused on academic excellence, other things like character-building and meaningful learning tend to be neglected.
He said this at the media briefing on the implementation of School-based Assessment for Lower Primary Schools.
Schools will be given the professional autonomy to practice PBD with guidance from the State Education Department and the District Education Office.
PBD, which was introduced since 2011 in primary schools, will now focus on fun learning and student-centred approach that will build and strengthen the four basic skills which are reading, writing, counting and reasoning.
“Pupils will be evaluated continuously with various types of assessments involving knowledge, skills and values that enable parents to recognise their children’s development and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
“Assessments should not only be restricted to one way only but can be carried out in different ways such as observation, tests, quizzes, homework and even drawings.
“Through this assessment, parents will receive reports from the school at least twice a year. They can learn the strengths and weaknesses of their children to support their children’s learning potential.”
Amin said PBD will also close the gap between urban and rural schools and will ultimately raise the bar of the country’s education standards.
“Teachers must make sure that minimum standard of the assessment must be achieved by each pupil. With no examinations, we raise the bar by ensuring students’ grasp of higher order thinking skills individually,” he added.
Earlier, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced that exams for pupils in Years One to Three will be abolished next year to restore the spirit and principles of the school-based assessment system .