PETALING JAYA: Educationists feel that the Education Ministry should have announced the PT3 changes a year in advance to give students more time to prepare.
The new History and Geography format is a “massive change”, said Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.
“From being project-based to written exams and projects, this is a shocker.
“When you suddenly introduce a new format in March, it is unfair to our students and teachers.
“The ministry would also need to explain why it is reintroducing multiple choice questions, which were removed in the first place,” she said.
The changes are coming too soon to be implemented properly, argued Noor Azimah.
“When there are changes to the format, the approach to teaching also changes,” she noted.
National Union of the Teaching Profession president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said the ministry should have made the announcement last year.
He said project-based assessments should remain as the main form of assessment for History and Geography.
“Projects are better for assessing students because different students have different potential.
“It also reduces their load as written exams are too complicated.
“Subjects like History and Geography equip students with skills to survive in the outside world. They learn how to communicate well and do research,” he said.
Educationist Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said the ministry should not make changes that could affect students.
Changes in a system could not be made instantly, he added, and time must be given to allow students to adjust.
“Education is not like a speedboat. It needs careful study and implementation.
“Has anyone asked the opinion of the students? We must ensure that their future is not affected,” he said.
Parent Azlin Zul Kaflee, 43, is not in favour of the changes in History and Geography.
“They should be project-based as this produces more holistic students; otherwise, they become too text-heavy and less fun, and students may lose interest in learning these subjects.
“Similarly for Asas Sains Komputer and Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi, they are heavy and there are too many tools that are used, so it is not practical to have written exams for them,” she said.
Azlin added that since the content of the subjects are the same, she is not worried for her son, who will sit for the PT3 exams this year.
Another parent, who wanted to be known only as Siti, said the changes in format would be a struggle for students and that parents needed time to prepare their children for the exams.
Sahadeva Prem Kumar, who owns a tuition centre, said no one knew what to expect for the PT3 exams.
“We don’t know what will be tested and how it will be tested.
“I feel this is not a calculated move by the policymakers and lacks empathy for the students,” he said.