Transforming Form Six: Experts suggest a post-SPM phase for students

28 Jun 2023 05:44pm
Education system urged to emphasise assignment-based practical tasks over homework - FILE PIX by Bernama
Education system urged to emphasise assignment-based practical tasks over homework - FILE PIX by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - Education experts suggest reimagining Form Six education as a post-SPM or post-school phase, with the aim of equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge for a smooth transition into university.

Education expert Dr Anuar Ahmad proposes the creation of a self-sufficient educational institution, replacing the term "Form Six" with a more fitting phrase such as "academic college," stressing that it should not be viewed as an extension of school.

He suggests that teachers who teach Form Six students should be referred to as lecturers and should possess at least a master's degree in education.

"This is because Form Six students require advanced skills and expertise beyond a degree level due to the extensive subject matter they cover," he told Sinar Daily recently.

On the learning environment, he suggests adopting a setting resembling a college, including table layouts, classroom decor, and attire.

"As Form Six students are typically 18 to 19 years old, they should be treated as college students, allowing both students and lecturers to experience college life.

"The education system should also shift away from homework and focus more on assignment-based practical tasks," he said.

Instead of assigning traditional homework, he proposes using assignments to assess students' presentation skills and understanding of topics.

Related Articles:

Anuar also recommends diversifying the streams offered in Form Six beyond the existing art and science streams, enabling students to better prepare for their chosen fields of study at the university level.

Meanwhile, Kings University College Head of English Division Rachael Rajaretnam supports the idea of giving Form Six studies more exposure, as it allows students to move away from the norms and constraints of secondary school.

She believes that if Form Six had its own college-like institution, it would attract the interest of SPM graduates and serve as a promotional tool for Form Six education.

"Some Form Six students, like other secondary school students, are required to follow school rules such as limiting the use of gadgets and communication devices, and some are not allowed to bring smartphones to class.

"Form Six students, like students at higher education institutions at the Diploma and Matriculation levels, are pre-university students who should not be restricted by school restrictions.

"This will have an indirect impact on SPM graduates. Because of that factor, most of them are not interested in Form Six after five years in secondary schools. They will definitely want something new, including a change in the environment, dress code, and so on," said Rachael.

Recently, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim acknowledged the need to transform the Form Six environment to resemble that of matriculation, as the schooling years conclude at Form Five.

He expressed that Form Six education should not be excessively bound by regular school rules, as many students have voiced their dissatisfaction with such rules and cultural constraints, calling for a change.

Relating to the Prime Minister's call, Form Six student Yeap Ee Teng from Sekolah Menengah Methodist George Town Penang expressed concerns about potential changes to the syllabus and shorter exam periods under the reimagined system.

Although she believes it would save time, Ee Teng is apprehensive about the syllabus modifications accompanying the altered time frame, as these decisions lie solely within the government's purview.

"For me personally, it will save time, but I more concerned that the syllabus will change along with the time period," Ee Teng said.

More Like This