Archive for September 2014

Instead of scapegoats, restore confidence in exams

September 25, 2014

A number of Tamil school teachers were arrested since September 12 onwards for the leakage of UPSR science and English paper of national schools. 470000 students are required to re-sit the UPSR science and English on September 30th.

The media highlight on Tamil school teachers for the leakage of the UPSR science and English paper seems dubious and is trying to shift the blame to someone else.

So far no official from examination syndicate have been arrested. Why were the police so quick in arresting Tamil teachers for the leakage of national school UPSR Science and English papers?

Kuala Lumpur city police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said Examinations Syndicate officers lodged the reports about the leak of the UPSR Tamil and Mathematics papers on the 21th September, 2014.

But Tamil school teachers have been arrested since the 12th September 2014. The UPSR examination questions selection were entirely at the discretion of examination syndicate. Printing, storage in strong rooms and distribution to schools are managed by the officials from examination syndicate.

Why were the Tamil teachers targeted and not the examination syndicate officials?

The police report on 21st September seems an afterthought to legitimize the police action to arrest Tamil school teachers.

Last year 2013 SPM additional mathematics and chemistry papers were said to be leaked. Earlier moral paper was said to be leaked. There were rumors that examination papers had leaked in the past too.

Therefore there are serious flaws in the way the examination syndicate is safekeeping and distributing these examination papers to schools.

All of these things are very disturbing and utterly unacceptable in the context of running fair, balanced and accurate assessments of students through examinations.

There has to be through check on the entire distribution process and storage of examination papers.

Those who are entrusted to prepare, select the questions and safe keep and distribute the examination papers must be people of high integrity.

Ministry of education must restore the integrity and confidence in local public examination once and for all. Shifting the blame to people outside the examination process and low level officers does not look good on the senior officials of the education ministry.

Education minister had announced the suspension of examination syndicate director Dr Na’imah and her deputy Wan Ilias with immediate effect on 12th September 2014.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that the two civil servants should be held responsible for having tarnished the image of the ministry and that of public examinations.

But the Education Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad clarified on 20th September that Examinations Syndicate director Dr Na’imah Ishak and the deputy director of operations Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh had not been suspended from duty but were assigned to other duties unrelated to the Examinations Syndicate to enable the independent committee to carry out its investigations.

Meanwhile, Madinah said that the Education Ministry will take disciplinary action against all the teachers responsible for the leak of the English and Science papers in this year’s UPSR examinations. She added that if any of the teachers are charged in court, they would be temporarily suspended from service with a 50% salary cut.

Ministry of education must be transparent and come clean on the investigation and restoration of a more leakage proof examination system.

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Exam paper leaks weaken the Integrity of Malaysian exams.

September 13, 2014

The annual leakage in examination papers under the Malaysian examination syndicate is undermining the integrity and confidence in the public examinations. These scams are very shameful and unfortunate given the amount of effort, time and preparation put in by students and parents. All the promises of bringing in the culprits behind these leakages to justice have not seen the light of the day.

 

The second education minister announced today that UPSR English paper was found to have leaked and the students have to re-sit for this paper. Yesterday UPSR science paper was reported to have been leaked. The science paper of the 2014 primary school achievement test (UPSR) scheduled on the 11th September has been postponed to September 30th after detecting the paper leakage at the last minute. Examination syndicate said that a preliminary investigation showed that the questions for the papers had been circulated over social media.

 

Last year 2013 SPM additional mathematics and chemistry papers were said to be leaked. Earlier moral paper was said to be leaked. Promises of probe by police into the leakage in previous years did not yield any outcome so far. In the past the education ministry blamed private tutors, cleaners and security guards for examination paper leakages. But the mishap still continues to add more stress and pain to parents, students and teachers. No official in the examination syndicate has ever held responsible for these leakages.

 

As usual the education minister who is also the deputy prime minister apologized for the scam. When the SPM papers leaked last year the same deputy prime minister apologized too. What happened to the probe by police? What action taken to strengthen the security of these papers? Where is the weak link in the examination paper preparation? In fact the ministry of education announced the formation of task force to probe into the leakages. No news forthcoming on the probe till now.

 

The general public has not seen any visible action taken to restore public confidence in the public education system. Mere apology without any concrete action to reprimand education ministry officers’ responsible and not taking corrective action is useless. Talking hard at the time of leakage and forgetting the issue in due course fades the confidence and interest in the public examination. Ministry of Education need to make every effort to track down and expose the perpetrators and make the offence and punishment publicly known. Secured and leakage proof examination is top priority to restore the integrity and confidence in the education system.

The UMNO hidden hand in Selangor crisis

September 9, 2014

The Pakatan Rakyat debacle in Selangor has finally exposed the hidden hands of Umno using the palace and the ‘hidden’ Umno supporters within Pakatan Rakyat.

The Palace’s unconventional request for 2 names to be submitted by each component parties in Pakatan Rakyat is unprecedented.

The constitutional monarch has no jurisdiction in appointing the Menteri Besar other than the one who commands the majority support in state assembly.

The Sultan nor his royal office are new to this sort of mentri besar crisis.

Yet, there are elements close to the palace that are dictating to Pakatan Rakyat component parties what should or should not be done by the sultan.

Umno is the puppet master behind the scene and is pulling the strings, using the palace to prolong the crisis.

The ultimate aim is forming an alternate unity government with expected defections from PAS and PKR.

The revelation that PAS president was actually a Trojan horse promoting Umno’d interest in forming the new unity government without going back to the voters, indicates the direction and target of Umno in Selangor crisis.

Umno, through the PAS president is plotting a ‘Perak like defection’ to form a new government.

Defecting to the other side

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak knows pretty well that if there is a snap election Umno and BN have no chance of returning to power.

The other way of taking power without going to people is defection from Pakatan Rakyat.

But Pakatan Rakyat has 43 assembly members compared to 13 on Umno’s side.

It is an uphill task, unless PAS members defect.

Unfortunately, such plans were put to paid as too much water has flowed below the bridge for the entire 13 PAS assembly men to defect.

Pakatan Rakyat has 30 assembly members in its side verses UMNO’s 26.

Selangor is the jewel in the Malaysian political crown.

Umno feels it is worth the while doing the unethical and illegal political defection attempt.

But now that their plans are slowly becoming apparent and having their hands soiled thus far, can they get anything?

It must be embarrassing facing the prospect of gaining naught and they could become more desperate.

Amply qualified

In Perak they were successful because of a two-member difference but in Selangor it is a different ball game all together.

Datuk Sri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail received her early education in St. Nicholas Convent School, Alor Star.

She continued her education at Tunku Kurshiah College in Seremban before she went on to study medicine at the Royal College of surgeons in Ireland where was awarded a gold medal in obstetrics and gynaecology and she later graduated as a qualified ophthalmologist.

Dr. Wan Azizah served as a government doctor for 14 years before deciding to focus on volunteering work, when her husband, Anwar Ibrahim was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia in1993.

As part of her voluntary pursuits, she became a patron of MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional in that period and became the second woman to lead a political party in Malaysia’s history. Ganga Nayar founded and became the first president of the Malaysian workers’ party in 1978.

To say that she will be remotely controlled by her husband is a political irony and belittling the effort of promoting a woman into the forefront of politics in Malaysia.

A woman who also happens to be the wife of Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim seems to be egging on Umno and its allies into fabricating excuses and blocking the Pakatan Rakyat candidate.

The Selangor crisis looks like it is going to be a ling drawn affair.

Umno is bent on creating more confusion with the tacit support of main stream media.

And they will blame it all on Pakatan Rakyat.

The Prime Minister has already expressed his support for outgoing MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and his displeasure for a new woman MB who has the majority support in state assembly.

The palace seems to have contrived the constitutional crisis to serve Umno’s purposes.

The deputy PM Tan Sri Muhiddin Yassin, has already reaffirmed that BN state assemblymen will stand with Khalid all the way.

Umno had, in the past, successfully countered the Kajang move to replace Khalid and the pro-Umno faction in PAS are still supporting him.

Umno, the puppet master, has made the constitution irrelevant in the Selangor crisis.

Selangor voters have made their choice loud and clear and it is up to the federal government and palace to accept and respect the choice.

The ball, they say, is in Umno’s court.