Monday, August 12, 2013

New education system reduces academic competition, says teacher

Posted by Smookiekins On 8/12/2013 10:07:00 AM

While the newly implemented PBS (“pentaksiran berasaskan sekolah” or school-based evaluations) system offers students the consolation of being evaluated subjectively, concerns has been raised that it could reduce academic competition among students.

According to the Ministry of Education’s online portal, PBS, now in its third year of implementation, is aimed at offering holistic education to Malaysian students to not only improve their academics but also their emotional, spiritual and physical abilities.

A prospective Sabahan teacher, who only wants to be known as Ken, 21, told The Borneo Post yesterday that there is no longer a standardised evaluation system for school students.

The TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) major student from Sultan Idris University of Education, Perak pointed out that the PBS system allowed students to be taught according to their individual capabilities, judging from a streaming method from Band One to Band Six.

“For example, Band One students get a different set of quizzes, tests and worksheets compared to Band Six students,” he said, adding that this method of evaluation is completely subjective and based on what the teachers think of their respective students.

Ken remarked that the PBS system overrode the well-known grading system whereby there would be a “number one” top student to a “last” student, meaning that one student does not necessarily have to be better or worse compared to a peer.

“Because teachers are offered a scheme to evaluate their students on, some students may score higher in, for example, reading skills but score lower than another student in comprehension skills, so there is no fixed standard,” he told.

The concern, however, is that students would not get the chance to compete with each other as they were grouped with others of the same Band, which could impede their academic performance, Ken said.

According to a comment published in The Star Online on April 24, since year-end examinations were abolished under the PBS, school students would no longer face examination pressure, thus losing their motivation to study.

Another comment, dated September 27, 2012, in popular online forum, laments that the PBS shifted the teaching-learning burden to the teachers alone as it was completely based on the respective teachers’ evaluation for students to progress to the next Band.

“If all reforms bring only suffering to teachers and cause regression instead of improvement to students, it is better not to change than to change it blindly,” said Jack Wong in The Star Online’s commentary.

Source: Borneo Post



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