Experts say no to UPSR, PT3 comeback, focus on education quality instead
SHAH ALAM – With the appointment of the newly-minted Education minister, there are talks by certain parties on the reintroduction of the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) and the Form Three Assessment (PT3), but experts believe that this should not be the case.
The Education Ministry (MoE), now led by its minister Fadhlina Sidek should instead focus on the quality of education for the students in the country.
Education expert Zahari Othman said rather than reintroducing the abolished exams, the ministry should enhance the standard of teachers’ pedagogical understanding.
The current methods of teaching all subjects particularly in Science and Mathematics, he said, were unrelated to the objective of developing students who could think critically and creatively.
“What should be done by the MoE now is to introduce the relevant pedagogical approaches of teachers”, he told Sinar Daily when contacted
Zahari, who is also Centre for Teaching Thinking and Innovation (CenT-TI) director expressed his hope that Fadhlina could deal with the issue of the inadequate quality of teaching and learning in Malaysian classrooms.
“I urge Fadhlina to address the issue of poor quality teaching and learning in our Malaysian classroom and relook at the implementation of school,” he said.
Zahari, whose expertise was the development of Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), added that if UPSR and PT3 made comebacks, the teachers would be more busy preparing students for examinations making them comprehend the topic.
“The teachers are now experiencing the unnecessary workload on so many documentation which is very much clerical in nature,”
“It will be very stressful for the teachers and students and would not in any way improve the quality of our education”, he said.
Echoing Zahari’s view, Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim also agreed that PT3 and UPSR would put extreme pressure on the teachers and students.
She said there had been much discussion, and going ahead the focus should be on improving education quality through these school-based examinations.
“These were removed as the focus was on scoring the maximum of As, memorising facts and figures without learning much, finishing the syllabus, ignoring consistent learning and putting pressure to perform in year-end assessments”, she added.
Azimah added that a better way to assess the students was through formative assessments throughout the year.
Earlier, MoE announced that the decision on whether to reinstate the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) and Form Three Assessment (PT3) depended on the presentation of the Malaysian Education Development Plan 2025 (PPPM 2025) report, which would expire in three years.
Fadhlina had said any decision for the exams to be reintroduced would need to refer to the facts and data collected throughout the PPPM 2025 period.