Are teachers ready for exam free system?

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By Nadhirah Sofea Rashid

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced last month that examinations for Std1 to 3 will be scrapped and replaced with more objective assessments or Pentaksiran Alternatif starting next year.

Well, that's good news as children will no longer be under pressure to score straight As in exams.

The new system will focus pupils’ learning development and it is expected to be in line with the government’s desire to replace the exam-oriented culture with learning-centred assessments.

Well, this bodes well for students’ development but the question here is are the teachers ready for these changes? 

Teachers always lament that they faced various changes in the past. Every time the Education minister changes, a new policy comes out and the old programmes discarded. 

All their trainings and effort in the programmes are wasted. This disheartens many teachers and some even say there is a decline in teaching standards due to this.

Many feel it may just be a bright spark and it will soon fizzle out especially if the minister is changed.

According to the ministry, Pentaksiran Alternatif is said to be more objective and its main aim is to ensure better personality growth among students.

Students need to be equipped with various skills, including the 4M skills which are membaca, menulis, mengira dan manusiawi (reading, writing, counting, humane).

Previously teachers are trained for exam-oriented education systems, so they now need to change 180 degrees on lesson plans.

While the National Union of the Teaching Profession welcomes the move, many teachers are quietly saying nothing much has been conveyed to them on how this will be carried out.

Most teachers are set in their mind on the usual way of teaching, which is exam-oriented.

It would be good if the government considers the teachers readiness to conduct objective assessments on their students.

Perhaps a new syllabus or system on education training for them?

Teachers need to be trained and prepared to face the new changes to bring the best results from the new policy.

So far, there has been no insight on any sort of new training programmes for teachers.

It is imperative that the government ensure the programme has a smooth transition and not a rushed one.

Any sort of hiccups and humps along the road will jeopardise teacher’s performance.