KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers across the country can breathe a sigh of relief as improvements to the school-based assessment (PBS) system will reduce their workload by at least 80%.
Starting April 1 this year, a new and improved PBS system will be rolled out to all Malaysian schools.
When the PBS system was first introduced – starting with Year One pupils in 2011 and Form One students in 2012 – teachers had complained that they had to spend a large amount of time keying in a lot of data into the online system, which was often difficult to access.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said teachers would no longer have to key in data online.
Instead, they will enter the information into an offline system for their own records, as well as for parents who request the information.
“The data will be kept in the school for the teachers and parents to see and for reference purposes,” he told a press conference at parliament when announcing changes to the PBS.
Besides keying in data, in the past teachers also had to use a Standard Performance Document (DSP) to keep track of the students’ academic achievements. This involved recording a large number of “descriptors and evidence”.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said that under the rebooted PBS system, the DSP had been simplified to become a Student Learning Development Guide.
Teachers will teach using the national curriculum that is developed based on a theme, topic or skills for subjects that students must master, after which they will assess the students’ learning development based on their own observations and evaluations with reference to the guide.
“Teachers can record the students’ mastery levels when it is convenient and using their own methods,” said Muhyiddin, adding that these records would depict the students’ learning progress during the teaching and learning process and could be shared with parents.
“With this, teachers are no longer burdened with the collection of data and evidence of student work,” he said.
He added that if parents wanted to find out more about their children’s achievements, schools could prepare an achievement report by conducting monthly tests, as well as mid-year and year-end examinations.
As part of the old PBS system, teachers were also required to prepare a Student Development File and Transit Record. They will no longer have to do this. Instead, student learning development can be recorded as and when the teacher is able to.
The ministry will conduct training for teachers to improve their skills in examining student responses.