School-based assessment best approach for students' holistic development, says expert

Employees Nurfazlina Ansori (front) and Jaya Sanchana arranging remaining stocks of UPSR books at the Pustaka Rakyat Sungai Buloh Bookstore. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Empowering school-based assessment (PBS) and classroom assessment (PBD) from this year is the best way to develop students holistically, says an expert.

Assoc Prof Dr Azlin Norhaini Mansor, senior lecturer at the Centre Department of Education Leadership and Policy of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) said this would cover various aspects including physical, spiritual and intellectual, compared to the existing method which focuses more on academic achievement through examinations.

''When we switch to PBS, there will be less comparison and competition, like '5As' are better than '4As', then there may not be a situation where many pupils want to score 5As in UPSR.

"The only concern now is the standardisation which has long been a practice in schools, so when it changes, practices will be different and people may take time to accept these changes," she told Bernama.

Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin announced on Wednesday (April 28) that the UPSR examination would be abolished and replaced with PBS and PBD.

Radzi said the decision to abolish the UPSR, which was first introduced in 1988, was made after getting views and input from various quarters, including 1,700 participants of engagement sessions with the Education Ministry (MOE).

Azlin Norhaini said teachers could evaluate student's achievement and performance throughout their learning sessions.

Indirectly, a teacher would also be able to detect a student's weaknesses and at the same time help increase their potential.

"I agree that we have to leave it to the school to manage the end-of-year tests for these Year Six pupils for the purpose of admission to residential schools and so on.

"If you want to go to fully-hostelled schools (SBP), let the assessment be provided by SBP and for religious secondary schools (SMKA), let the SMKA do assessment for the students, '' she added.

Azlin Norhaini also said the most important thing was to have total cooperation from schools and teachers so no student is left behind in their studies.

She said the MOE also needs to monitor schools to ensure that assessments are carried out in accordance with the procedures and guidelines set, or the academic achievement gap between urban and rural areas will increase.

''Schools and teachers need to know their responsibilities. All this while, most of them have been striving to get good scores in exams, so when the benchmarking is no longer there, what are their KPIs (key performance indicators)? The MoE needs to have other KPIs.

''School administrators should be 'learning leaders' while teachers should be 'learning teachers', who constantly learning to improve their practice. This is very important because the impact or effect of a policy change can only be seen after 10 or 20 years," she said. – Bernama

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PBS , UPSR , Abolish , Radzi Jidin , Azlin Norhaini , UKM


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