Friday, August 14

PT3 system a nightmare to teachers, students

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They are worried they would not be able to cope with the new initiative

KUCHING: The government’s decision to implement a school-based evaluation system (PT3) to replace Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) is causing worries and anxieties among teachers and students here.

They are worried they would not be able to cope with the new system as it was only announced on March 31 and implemented on July 1.

Several teachers interviewed yesterday opined they should be given more time and briefings, especially on its procedures, in order to get used to the system.

Given a choice, they preferred students to be assessed through PMR rather than through the PT3 system since PT3 decentralises assessments of Form 3 students to the respective schools.

They argued it would create a less standardised system to assess students.

“There are still many enquiries on the PT3 assessment. My colleagues and I are still in the dark on the type of questions that our students will face although the examination is right around the corner,” said a Form 3 Mathematics teacher yesterday.

A Form 3 Mandarin teacher, who has 18 years of teaching experience, is concerned that questions might be leaked to students considering that the schools were partly tasked to manage the question papers.

“Unlike PMR and SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia), where the question papers are only revealed just before the exam starts, the questions for PT3 are selected by schools from question banks provided by the Examination Board.

“Although I know not all teachers will leak the questions to students, I believe there will be a few who will reveal the questions to students for personal gains.”

He also expressed his concern for rural schools.

“Time is running short. Rural schools that obtain information about the new system later than those in the urban areas will be at a disadvantage since they will have less time to prepare and cope.”

A Form 3 student, who requested anonymity, remarked: “I spent more than two years preparing for PMR and now I am only given around half a year to prepare for an examination that I still do not fully understand.”

Another student wailed that PT3 was heaping more burden on students as they would need to carry out projects, whereas the emphasis of PMR was basically on the final examination.

Meanwhile, several complaints were made on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s Facebook after he had wished all the best to the first batch of students taking PT3 exams.

Among them a teacher Afiq Omar who wrote: “I am one of the teachers to handle this PT3 History. The students need to have a high level of thinking. Most of them were shocked because they never done such things before. Seventy per cent were lost.”

Another Facebook user Kevin Y N Ho while saying he was considering sending his son to a private school wrote: “I am extremely angry with the Education Minister for using my son as a guinea pig. My son is confused as to what is required to prepare for the exams.”