Abolishing UPSR will ease pressure on pupils

Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi

KUCHING: Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi has expressed agreement with the decision to abolish the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) so as not to put pressure on primary school students.

Nevertheless, he said there needed to be a special test at the primary school level to test students’ abilities before entering Form 1.

“A special test still needs to be carried out to gauge the intelligence of students especially for entering high-performance schools including boarding schools,” he said when contacted today.

He added that the abolishment of UPSR would provide room for students to focus more on their transition from primary to secondary school.

He expressed confidence that school managements would definitely have special assessments to test the abilities of students throughout their studies in primary school.

He said that based on the principles of soft skills education and social justice, the examination-oriented system needed to be adapted according to the new narrative of education, taking into account an education system based on noble values.

As such, he said the Education Ministry (MOE) needed to come up with an alternative assessment plan as soon as possible to ensure that students are not left behind and that they are ever-ready to face the educational transition from primary to secondary school.

“Although we tend to abolish examinations and replace them with new assessment systems, this still needs to be implemented with systematic measures,” said Dr Abdul Rahman.

He said MOE’s alternative plans should ensure that the current examination orientation is replaced with soft skills-based education that prioritises the development and comprehensive learning of students while cultivating human capital required by the nation.

He noted that the cancellation of the Form Three Assessment Examination (PT3) this year was likely due to the Covid-19 pandemic which had not yet subsided.

“However, the government would certainly have a special approach to produce quality students and competitive human capital,” he said.

Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin had announced the abolishment of UPSR starting this year while PT3 2021 would be cancelled.