Education groups: Removing exams good, but fine-tune assessment system

Education Minister Maszlee Malik has announced that exams for pupils in Year One, Two and Three will be replaced with a more objective form of assessment from 2019. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: NGOs involved in education have welcomed the education ministry’s move to remove mid-year and final exams for Years One to Three pupils to make way for classroom-based assessment.

However, they want improvements to be made to the assessment system.

Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) secretary Tunku Munawirah Putra and Tamil Foundation adviser K Arumugam do not expect teachers to have problems with this move as teachers have been doing such assessments since 2011.

“The school-based assessment is an on-going measure under the policy of upholding Bahasa Malaysia and strengthening the use of English.

“Removing exams is just removing the final formative exams. Teachers are already trained to do assessments,” Tunku Munawirah said.

Tunku Munawirah, however, said the current assessment system needed to be fined-tuned to make it more effective.

Arumugam agreed with Tunku Munawirah that the assessment system needed to be improved.

“I am all for a holistic education approach and moving away from exams,” he said.

Melaka Action Group for Parents (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin said Magpie supported the government’s no-exams policy for primary schoolchildren.

However, he asked if teachers were fully prepared to implement this next year.

“Pupils have been taught using the old methods, which are reading and memorising the subjects. Are teachers ready for it? Can the teachers assess students objectively? Will this assessment be consistent?” he asked.

“I do hope this policy stays there even if another education minister takes over,” Mak added.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik had, on Oct 31, announced that “examinations for pupils in Level 1 (Primary Year One, Two and Three) will be scrapped and replaced with a more objective form of assessment, starting 2019” .