Is examination an obstacle to learning?
Like all previous education ministers, the current DPM and education minister Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yasin is attempting to mark his footprint in the education system. All previous prime ministers were once education ministers. Therefore along the way education system in Malaysia was politicized and the current education minister is practicing the same.
Examination is a common measuring instrument to evaluate the skill or knowledge of students from the given syllabus. It is also a parameter to determine how effectively and efficiently the teachers have imparted the syllabus content and the school as an effective educational institution.
The results of these examinations are normally used by decision makers for assessing student ability, streaming purpose, teacher training planning, allocation of resources etc. Common examination is also useful for selection of students into residential and science schools as the results will be quite reliable.
We already have so much discontent and unhappiness on the selection process of scholarships, matriculation and university intake. Straight As students don’t get scholarships and places in universities. Malaysians have not disputed the examination results but only the selection process for scholarships and higher education institutions. Now the education minister is adding fuel to the already flammable and contagious issue by introducing school based examinations.
All the previous education ministers have slowly eroded the credibility of our once highly respected education system. Now we have graduates who are unemployable after all the years in schools. Besides their subject matter skills our local graduates are weak in people skills, critical thinking skills, poor attitude, commitment and passion to do something new and better for the society.
Examination provides credibility, focus, measurement and purpose for the education system. It has to be independent, common and free from bias and a bench mark for it to be accepted and respected. The Malaysian education has already lost much of its luster all this while. Schools are still producing As because of the support of numerous tuition centers in our country. Now the education minister wants this important evaluation process to be handled by teachers. Teachers have been reduced to order takers from the ministry officials who are high and might. These ministry officials implement the will and wish of their political masters.
We have national schools, vernacular school, religious schools, independent schools and private schools. Can we have a school based evaluation which will be accepted by all? Mr Education minister please go down check the pulse of parents and students. Malaysians must wake and have their say in this matter otherwise whatever little left that too will disappear.