Developing a student’s overall potential

PUTRAJAYA: THE School-Based Assessment programme (SBA), which replaced the exam-oriented teaching methodology, will move into its second phase next year with the introduction of tests, projects and workshops for students.

The Malaysian Examinations Syndicate (MES) said the first stage, school assessment (pentaksiran sekolah), had been successfully implemented since 2011, and they were now moving towards centralised assessment for students in Form Three, and Years Four, Five and Six.

MES director Dr Na’imah Ishak said there wasa possibility that   students would be tested in examinations to gauge their mastery of the subject, but it would not be the main focus for their assessment.

She said they would also have projects, research and other forms of learning methods that the students will be assessed upon.

“The aim of the programme is to focus more on pupils’ development and growth in learning. We are trying to achieve the objectives of the national education philosophy towards developing a student’s potential holistically  to create an individual who has high intellect  and is balanced emotionally and physically.”

She said there were four components in SBA  — central assessment, school assessment, assessment of physical, sports and co-curricular activities, and psychometric assessment.

The school assessment started when   SBA was introduced in 2011 in all government and government-aided primary schools, and last year for all government and government-aided secondary schools.

There was mixed reaction among  parents in the initial stages as some believed   the system would work unfairly against their children.

Na’imah said, however, that a survey done through  MES outreach programmes showed that   parents were satisfied with the direction that   SBA was taking and the improvements they saw in their   children.

“Our survey proved that   parents have learned to accept the system and   approved   it. We have received positive feedback from parents who have realised the impact   it would have on their offspring and how it would help them   grow individually.”

According to   MES, more than 22,000 parents participated in the SBA Outreach programme nationwide up till this year, with more than 519,000 primary and secondary school teachers having undergone  training.

Na’imah said there would  also be no issues regarding the problem of teachers favouring a student over another as there were parties from the institution itself and from the outside that would monitor the students’ files.

She said they would also look into any complaints  filed against the result of the assessments.

Under   SBA,  teachers are given guidelines to grade their students according to their  academic performance and  their  co-curricular activities  as well as their innate and acquired abilities.

The programme assesses students based on different evidence markers, like their ability to read or count, and is based on a certain grade or “band”, starting from Band One to Band Six.

Na’imah said SBA made  it possible for teachers to provide immediate feedback to pupils at each stage of the learning curve and enabled teachers and pupils to identify their strengths and weaknesses during learning.

“The teachers can fill in the performance standard document (dokumen standard prestasi) once the students reached a certain level required in the assessment.

“They are given time to file evidence of the pupils’ work to ensure that   he or she has mastered the necessary subject, and as proof that the learner has attained the necessary skills needed.”

The system would help with early detection of pupils’ inability to master a skill and allow   teachers to formulate remedial tasks to help them improve their learning and achievements, she said.

Parents will also be able to keep track of their child’s development through the online system which details their progress as they continue with their syllabus.

Although there were some complaints  from   teachers, Na’imah said they had managed to upgrade and enhance the system to accommodate the constant updates and data being logged into it.

She said the system was available in two formats, online and offline, where they could get the compact disc  and transfer the information through.

However, there have been no requests from the schools, even those in the rural areas, for the offline format as   teachers have their own method  of keying in the details on their students and use the resources available to them, she said.

Read more: Developing a student’s overall potential – General – New Straits Times