Sunday October 10, 2010
PMR to be a school-based exam
By ZUHRIN AZAM AHMAD
SYDNEY: The Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination for Form Three students will be changed to a school-based assessment beginning 2016, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
He said that although the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination for Year Six pupils would remain, its syllabus would be improved.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said a committee formed to study and review both examinations had concluded that major changes were necessary to stay relevant in the current environment.
He said the proposal to replace both examinations with school-based assessments was discussed in two roundtable sessions.
“It was agreed in general that the PMR be changed to a school-based assessment.
“As for UPSR, it was concluded that its effectiveness needed to be improved with a better syllabus,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Muhyiddin said the changes would not be implemented immediately to avoid burdening students and teachers, and disrupting the present education system.
“It surely cannot be done next year because the education system has a cycle, which makes it impossible for students under the present one to immediately sit for a new form of examination.
“We reckon that it will take six years for such a major transformation to really work because it involves changes in syllabus and books as well as training for teachers so that they are not so examination-oriented,” he said, adding that the pilot project for school-based assessment had been carried out at some 550 schools since 2008.
Muhyiddin said the Malaysian Examination Syndicate would be roped in to ensure that the school-based assessment for PMR would be carried out fairly.
“We are aware that there may be a tendency among some schools to give high marks to their own students which can then invite negative perception towards the examination.
“This has been taken into consideration as it is no longer a public examination,” he said.
On Friday, Deputy Education Minister Dr Puad Zarkashi had said that the report, which proposed to replace the UPSR and PMR with school-based assessment, was ready.
This year, nearly 480,000 students are sitting for their PMR examination which started on Oct 5.