Tuesday, October 04, 2005

PMR: What's Religion Got To Do With It?

In a bewildering policy instituted by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate of the Ministry of Education, students are now required to state their religion in candidate slips used for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations. This issue was raised in the Star today.

Parents are rightly asking what has the student's religion got to do with sitting for the examinations? The information, in any way you look at it, is completely irrelevant, unless of course, they are now serving food during examinations? :)
A parent who called up The Star felt that such a requirement was taking a step backwards and went against the spirit of Vision 2020 which aimed to create a Bangsa Malaysia.

“I hope the Education Ministry will stop this very unhealthy practice as it can be misconstrued. Some parents had protested in 2001 and the authorities had given an assurance that it would not be done in future.”

“Since the absence of such information will not hamper the smooth operation of the examination, I hope the ministry will consider removing it altogether.”
So what did the officials at the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate say? The answers was seemingly straightforward and simple. They needed the information to "to determine the number of Moral and Islamic studies examination papers to print". The unit's director Dr Salleh Hassan said this was a "normal process".
“It is for that purpose. We need to know who is sitting for Islamic Studies and who is sitting for Moral Studies... It (the requirement) is only for administrative purposes.”
Err... what has the need to know the quantity of examination papers to print has got to do with printing the student's religion on the candidate's slip? I believe that in the normal process, each school would have submitted the number of students sitting for each subject for the examinations separately to the Ministry prior to the examinations. The Ministry officials will then consolidate the numbers and send the required quantities for printing. I cannot see how religion is also required to be printing on the slips. I don't see the candidate's slip stating "Sejarah" just to determine the number of candidates taking history. So how is it otherwise for Moral and Islamic Studies?

Even if the motive of the Ministry is benign and "innocent", and purely for administrative purposes, by printing the candidate's religion on the slips may allow room for prejudices to set in, during the administration and marking of the examination scripts. Why should the Ministry allow such prejudices set in at all?

Most interestingly, our Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim said he "was unaware of this development but said he would look into the matter."


Anonymous said...

Kosher meal for me please! LOL

It's so irrelevant. Is stating your religion on exam answer sheets that important? Unless of course they plan to make sure that the number of high achievers are 'balanced'

thquah said...

I wonder if every student will to state religion - ragu-ragu than maybe it is relevant to the officials at the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate.Just like the hospital in Sg. Petani state jantina-ragu-ragu.

Dangerous Variable said...

I practice Judaism, what's your problem?

F***ing lousy and lame public managers!

Anonymous said...

It would be funny if every school in the country ask their students to just put Islam. Just to mess with them and teach these people a lesson.

cikuism said...

Don't worry. Our out-dated education system would be getting its 'recovery'after centuries... UPSR and PMR would be ceased later, regain all hope into that,kaka

Anonymous said...

lol...tat's nothing more that we can do than face the fact that we're malaysians. Besides, we can just hope that there's changes in the Education system after the new parlimen been chosen.