Teachers’ union lauds cancellation of exams

Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin

KUCHING:  The Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) has applauded the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) decision to scrap the Ujian Peperiksaan Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) for good and cancel the Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) 2021 examination this year.

Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin in announcing the cancellations disclosed that the ministry would introduce an alternative method to evaluate students who are supposed to sit for the two public examinations.

STU president Adam Prakash Abdullah said the decision has lifted one of the stress factors for teachers, students and parents at the primary education level.

He pointed out the children would benefit from the wise decision as the focus of learning to secure excellent results and to make their parents proud could be shifted.

“Our children have been subjected to assessments and tests from the first year in school. Having a public examination at an early age coupled with the demands from parents and schools that they have to do well is very stressful for the children.

“We have robbed our children of the fun learning in school as well as playtime in the evening because they have to go for tuition classes. The teachers have to focus on rote learning in making the children good at memorising but this does not guarantee that they are able to apply the knowledge in their daily lives,” he said.

Adam noted that many countries have done away with primary school assessments and they were doing fine.

However, he said students should be given the chance to sit for examinations for selection into elite schools.

On the cancellation of PT3 this year, Adam said the decision was appropriate as the students have not been attending classes since the implementation of home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) last year.

“We have no objection to the cancellation of the PT3. It would be very unfair to put the students to the test when they have not been given sufficient inputs to do so,” he said.

Adam also urged parents to not be too anxious over the cancellation of PT3 examination as there will be alternative assessment scores that schools could use to assess the students.

He added that teachers were well trained to conduct assessments at all levels up until the Sijil Tertinggi Pengajian Malaysia (STPM).

“We would like to remind parents and the public at large to not pass bias judgment at teachers for their dedicated service in educating the children. We will always be fair to the children and award scores accordingly as deserved by the students,” he assured.