The Education Ministry and the Malaysian Examination Syndicate (MES) should really take the views of teachers and students who are disappointed with the lack of challenge of the examination papers seriously and not just shrug them off.I'm sure all of us could not agree more. We'd like the MES to take the criticisms constructively and help us improve the standards of Malaysian students and the crediblity of the Malaysian examinaton in the future. What MES should do now is make a public statement that it will consider all the opinions of the teachers, parents and the public and make future year examinations a better one.
We must ask ourselves if the results give a true picture of the students' understanding of, and ability in, the subjects tested when they are set below par. It is dangerous to disillusion ourselves by lowering the standards.
Sunny goes on to argue that over the years, "the ministry has reduced the content in the Mathematics and Science syllabus to make the subjects lighter on our students."
However, due to current and future needs, the syllabus should instead be enhanced ... The ministry should not take out components just because they are slightly more difficult to understand.
Apparently, there was a new format of examination for the English paper as well. This format, it appears, consists of graphic materials and short texts - as describe by PMR student John Lee in his comments on the earlier post here. Sunny argued, understandably that this new format "will not test the ability of the students".
When one looks at the current examination formats for the English Language papers, one will question the seriousness of the Government in raising its level. One only needs to check the questions over the last 30 years or so to see the steep degradation of the standard.Sunny was not the only reader complaining, there was plenty of feedback from the Star readers published today. Some of the examples of comments are:
We would appreciate if the ministry injects more comprehension, grammar, writing and other more useful components into the syllabus to help our students get a better grasp of the language.
“Exam standards have been dropping year by year. This will affect the standard in university too. Please buck up.”Yes, MES, we do not want to produce a generation of incompetent 'A' students.
A student said the questions were probably made easy because school Mathematics and Science teachers were themselves not proficient in English. “The teachers who are teaching Maths and Science in English cannot even read or teach in English. What do you expect?”
National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said the MES should not lower examination standards to make it easier for weaker students. [The MES] cannot lower the standard of exams like this just to make it easier for some students. The standard of public examinations must be maintained,” said Lok.