KUALA LUMPUR: With students sitting for their first public examination at 17, parents want teachers to be creative so that their children will take their lessons seriously.
Students, said Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin, might not pay attention if they knew they would not be tested.
“Since there is no examination for Year Six and Form Three students anymore, they may not pay attention. They may not be motivated to perform. So, teachers need to be creative to attract the student’s attention,” he said.
Agreeing, SMK Cochrane and SMK (P) Bandaraya’s Parent-Teacher Association chairman Faizal Mohammad Arshad said schooling needs to be more interesting to engage students.
“Teachers have to be more creative to ensure children excel beyond just academics,” he said, adding that educators already had many methods and tools at their disposal.
On June 2, Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin had announced that there would be no more Form Three Assessment (PT3) exams from this year while the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) was abolished in April last year.
Starting next year, the first centralised exam students will sit for is the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said it was the teacher’s role to make lessons interesting.
“Teachers are trained to pique the students’ interest. When teachers are trained to do what they are supposed to do, these concerns shouldn’t arise,” she said.
On such concerns, Radzi said the onus was on the teachers to keep students engaged, adding that they must find ways to make learning and teaching more fun.
“Teachers must be more creative and innovative to keep students engaged during lessons in the absence of exams, he said during the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Transformation Forum yesterday.Many teachers, he pointed out, had been too preoccupied in the past with making sure students excel at exams.
“As long as we don’t remove exams, the whole education system will work around exams. Teachers will just focus on giving exercises so that students get good results,” he said.
Radzi also dismissed concerns that students might skip lessons now that exams were abolished.
“Do students skip school because there’s no exams or because it’s so boring?” he said, adding that in developing countries where exams had been abolished, students still continued to attend schools.
“We can see that many students (in countries where exams were abolished) were excited to attend schools because they saw the value of meeting teachers and friends. School is a fun place where they learn,” he said.
Admitting that the education system has gone stagnant, Radzi said the ministry had taken steps to make improvements.
“We need all sectors to give their cooperation to the ministry so that our education ecosystem will be improved from time to time,” he said.
The ministry, he said, was studying the technology tools that teachers could use to make learning more fun.
“Children these days are very close to their devices. It’s a part of who they are. We want to see how we can ride on this,” he said.
In response, National Union of Teaching Profession of Malaysia (NUTP) secretary-general Wang Heng Suan said teachers were already creative and innovative.
He, however, appealed to the ministry to provide allocation for teachers to buy technological devices.On another matter, Radzi said a utilities dashboard would be introduced to monitor water and electricity usage in schools to ensure optimal use of resources.
“We saw that there were schools with thousands of ringgit worth of water bills during the movement control order. I even know of an institution with a water bill totalling RM90,000 a month,” he said, adding that school utility bills were paid in bulk by district education offices or state education departments.
Also present at the forum was Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.