Thursday, August 13

Education Ministry plans to conduct diagnostic exercise to benchmark Science teachers

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry plans to conduct a diagnostic exercise to benchmark Science teachers in terms of their content knowledge and pedagogical skills in that field.

Its Curriculum Development Division deputy director Dr Azian T.S. Abdullah said these would be done through a combination of assessment and practical observations.

She said in 2011, the policy of 60:40 ratio of Science and Arts had only achieved 45 per cent of the 60 per cent of students’ involvement in Science subjects.

“Therefore, the diagnostic exercise would be an effort to encourage students to take up Science, as well as to enhance the quality of science education to be at par with that in developed nations.

“Malaysia is currently undergoing educational transformation, and Inquiry- Based Science Education (IBSE) is one of our focus areas to propel the national education system to greater heights,” she said when presenting a paper at the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC)’s fifth anniversary conference, here, yesterday.

Azian said through the diagnostic exercise, the ministry would be able to develop a customised professional development programme for Science teachers as well as develop a professional learning community (PLC) among them.

“A new initiative which has never been carried out in Malaysia is the employment of School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC+). We hope to implement that programme.

“The SISC+ will act as mentor and coach to teachers in schools, besides delivering professional development sessions.”

Azian said the professional development programme would motivate teachers to deliver effectively the new Secondary School Standard Curriculum (KSSM) and Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR), which would be implemented in 2017.

She said the ministry would also take every step possible to provide good science laboratories in schools and to recruit sufficient skilled laboratory assistants to support teachers in the learning proses.

Therefore, she said, to further strengthen Science education, the ministry would reintroduce starting from 2015 the practical testing elements in national examinations and school-based assessments. — Bernama