Archive for the ‘UPSR’ Category

Is education a journey or a race?

Sunday, October 15th, 2017
In today’s competitive world, the rat race starts early. Excellent grades in academic subjects are the primordial benchmark that sets kids apart from their peers. FILE PIC

UPSR, SPM, STPM, GCE — just a few of the acronyms haunting many young minds at this time of the year. Young minds and their parents alike.

Remember the days when everything was a race? First to reach the bathroom in the morning, first to down their Milo, first to call shotgun for the ride to school. First to sit on the swing at recess, first in line for canteen lunch. First on the school bus to secure the best seat and first to reach the front door and ring the bell. A happy childhood consisted mostly of healthy competition among friends and siblings, a race to be the first in all things that, from an adult’s perspective, don’t really matter.

Most children gladly put their competitive mind to rest between recess and lunch. Pupils used to run out of the classroom, not into it. Hardly anyone pushed and shoved to be the first at the blackboard and try their luck at a complex math formula. Oh, happy childhood days. Not the most ambitious of times, but happy days, nonetheless.

So, what happened? Instead of a rambunctious crowd, today’s pupils march in single file from their parents’ cars onto the school grounds, born down by a school bag so big and heavy that the child who carries it could easily find space to sit in it herself. If Malaysian schools run two sessions per day, a fact that absolutely boggles the outsider’s mind, where are all the students that have the other half of the day off?

Why are they not playing outside, in their front yard, in the neighbourhood park? Why are they not hanging out at the local mall or mamak stall? Where and when are today’s children being children, where are the nation’s teens being pubescent?

Youngsters have no time to be childlike, or rebellious, or sullen, or dreaming, anymore. Youngsters are at tuition. They are at tuition centres that have popped up all over the country like “mushrooms growing after the rain”, to borrow a local saying.

In today’s competitive world, the rat race starts early. Excellent grades in academic subjects are the primordial benchmark that sets kids apart from their peers; the yardstick that determines a parent’s measure of success at their job as a progenitor.

Academic excellence is a must in secondary school; it is even the norm in primary school. Parents and guardians send their scions for after school tuition up to seven days a week. Gymnastics and piano lessons are squeezed in somewhere in between.

The “Asian F” is a very real notion. It is the widespread understanding that an A- is not good enough. The pressure on school children and their parents is growing to unhealthy proportions.

At the same time, many life skills are thrown overboard in a constant effort to be the best among the best. Professors in tertiary education lament the fact that they lecture classes of exceptionally well-instructed students who don’t understand what further education is all about. Students are bright and diligent, but they don’t know how to think critically, how to build an argument, how to debate, or how to work towards a solution as a team.

If parents and schoolchildren willingly submit to the burden of pushing for always better grades, it is in an effort to be best prepared for the real rat race, the demands of modern career perspectives.

However, it seems that academic excellence is not the whole ticket. Employers undoubtedly look favourably upon perfect scores. But, recruiters also look for attributes such as individuality, drive, passion, curiosity. These aren’t skills learned in the classroom, nor in a tuition centre, no matter how well intentioned the teachers and tutors might have been. These character traits are fashioned on the playground, on a football field, in a band, even while playing video games.

At first glance, this argument might come across as irresponsible, dismissive of academic values, rebellious even. It is not. It is simply an attempt at widening the scope of modern education.

A healthy education should be a marvelous journey, not a race. It is a plea for restoring a childhood that leaves space for learning how to fail, in order to better succeed, a childhood that is given the opportunity to grow at one’s individual pace.

It is an appeal, to give children the chance to spend time in a meadow, so that they know how to stop and smell the roses when they grow up.

By FANNY BUCHELI-ROTTE.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2017/10/290935/education-journey-or-race

UPSR To Continue Until It Is Time For It To Be Replaced – Mahdzir

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

News Pic

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 11 (Bernama) — Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the existing Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) would continue to be held until a time appropriate for the system to be replaced.

He said a study to identify a suitable system to replace the UPSR was still being carried out by getting feedback from interested parties, including parents.

“UPSR will continue to be held until we have discussed with all the quarters involved. This engagement takes along time, with parents, professionals, unions, academicians, all have them to sit together,” he said.

He told this reporters after a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Gaya here, today, to observe the running of the UPSR examination, which began today.

Also present were Education Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad, Education Director-General Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof and Sabah Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul.

In a related development, Mahdzir said the achievement report for this year’s Year 6 students would be made in a holistic manner, where it would not be based only on their academic performance or UPSR result, but also to take into account other aspects, such as co-curriculum, personality, sport and others under the School-based Assessment.

“So, the marks given to a student are not only in academic. We want to look at the student’s achievement holistically,” he said, adding that the assessment would benefit the students when they want to pursue studies.

A total of 443,794 candidates are sitting for the UPSR examination nationwide, with about 44,000 of them in Sabah.

The UPSR candidates comprised 433,536 students from government and government-aided schools, with the remaining from private schools.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1390112

443,794 Candidates To Sit For UPSR This Year

Friday, September 8th, 2017

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 7 (Bernama) — A total of 443,794 candidates will be sitting for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah 2017 from Sept 11 to 14 and Sept 18.

The Ministry of Education in a statement today said from the total, 433,536 were government and government-aided school candidates while 10,258 were private school candidates.

The examination will involve 8,085 centres nationwide as well as 51,363 examination personnel.

According to the ministry, the Examination Syndicate had reminded all candidates to refer to the examination schedule for information on the examination timing as well as directives and warnings which should be adhered to during the examination.

The schedule could be downloaded from the Examination Syndicate website at lp.oe.gov.my.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1389234

Testing time for UPSR candidates and parents

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

MANY people are unhappy with the results of the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) because they feel the switch to the new format was too jarring.

This year, fewer than 5,000 pupils scored straight As out of the 440,782 who sat for the examinations in September. In contrast, 38,344 UPSR candidates had all As in 2015.

It is as if the pool of top Year Six students receded dramatically in just one year.

The Education Ministry has made it clear that it is not useful to make that comparison because the UPSR has been revamped this year in line with the recommendations of the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2015.

This is the first time that the examination is based on the Pri­mary School Standard Curri­culum (better known by its Bahasa Malaysia acronym KSSR), which the ministry began rolling out in 2011.

That means greater emphasis on higher-order thinking skills such as analysing, critical thinking, hypo­thesising and decision making

According to the Examinations Syn­­dicate, this year’s As were awarded to those who showed strong thinking skills in the science papers, were able to elaborate and articulate well in the language subjects, and solved the mathematics questions using clear steps.

“We want to recognise the academic achievements of these excellent pupils and differentiate them from the normal pupils,” said Examinations Syndicate director Datin Nawal Salleh.

The trouble is, many of these “normal pupils” are accustomed to the idea that As are plentiful as long as they remember what the tea­chers taught and the questions they attempted before the UPSR.

Naturally, these 12-year-olds are shocked and dejected when their results fall short, particularly if they had done well in their trial exams. And their parents are upset, too.

In the world of business and management, this would have been diagnosed as a case of poorly managed expectations.

Students and parents were not ready for the fact that the As will not flow as easily as they used to, at least not during the early days of the new format.

And it appears that the schools and the ministry have not sent a clear message (until now, that is) that rote learning and predicting exam topics and questions, are no longer enough to produce high marks.

There is much about the new format that has to sink in, and questions remain about how well the students understand what is expected of them in the UPSR.

Meanwhile, this is the time for the adults to address the pupils’ confusion and dismay. These young ones need to understand what has happened and why.

It should be explained to the children that they need to see the results in the proper perspective. The Bs, Cs, Ds and Es – or the As, for that matter – do not represent the sum of a person. By no means do poor UPSR grades signify the end of the road.

The students need to learn about resilience and adaptability. And yes, the higher-order thinking skills will serve them well, too.

The Star Says.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2016/11/20/testing-time-for-upsr-candidates-and-parents/

New format to suit blueprint needs

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

The UPSR results cannot be compared to the results of previous years because there has been a change in the format this year, said Examinations Syndicate director Datin Nawal Salleh.

Explaining the sudden drop in UPSR 2016 results on Friday, Nawal said that the UPSR format was changed to suit the aspirations of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2015.

The format had remained the same for the past decade, she added.

Parents and pupils were upset with the results but Nawal pointed out those who scored straight this year were clearly “outstanding” and that set them apart from the rest of the candidates.

One of the aspirations of the Blueprint was to produce students who had thinking skills and this had been clearly reflected by those who scored straight As.

“They had strong thinking skills (in science), were able to elaborate and articulate well (in the language examinations), and could demonstrate clear steps when tackling mathematics questions,” she said.

On Thursday, Education director-general Tan Sri Khair Mohamad Yusof said that a total of 4,896 pupils scored straight They were 1.1% of the 440,782 candidates who sat for the examinations, compared to 38,344 or 17.7% out of 337,384 candidates last year, under the old format.

She said this year’s UPSR candidates were the first batch who used the new KSSR (Primary School Standard Curriculum) from 2011.

The UPSR is a centralised examination that is based on the KSSR, she reiterated.

by REBECCA RAJAENDRAM.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/11/20/new-format-to-suit-blueprint-needs/

Passing UPSR with flying colours

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

SUSPENSE filled the air as the 46 pupils who sat for the UPSR at SJK(T) Ladang Edinburgh in Kuala Lumpur waited for their results to be read out.

One pupil obtained 8As, two got 6As and one got 5As.

Sri Darshini Thiruselvam, 12, who scored 8As, said: “Although I got 8A’s in my trial exam, I didn’t expect to get the same results (in the actual exam) because the Mathematics paper was very difficult.” Her mother, Balwir Kaur, who was on her way to the school when the results were announced, swung by a shop to get her daughter’s favourite chocolate to celebrate.

“Darshini had been preparing for this exam since January. At home, she spent most of her time studying. I would tell her, ‘Enough!’ and ask her to go to sleep or to take a break.

“It is just an exam. It is not the end of the world!” said Balwir.

Darshini’s schoolmate, Devyaan Mageswaran, who scored 6As, said: “The exam was hard, especially the Tamil and English paper as it asked a lot of tough questions.”

Devyaan credits his good results to the school, which held extra classes six days a week, and to his mother, Vasantha Ramachandaran, who “helps me study, gives me advice, and takes care of me”.

Vasantha said she was happy with his results.

“This is the first year that the UPSR format has changed, and also the first time the pupils sat for a second English paper.”

Prior the the exam, the diligent mother helped her son prepare by going online and getting different papers for him to practice with.

“Because of the new syllabus, we couldn’t practice by doing past year questions.

“So I would visit online parent groups to get question papers from different schools and states. These were shared by parents,” she said.

Prisha Mahendran also obtained 6As. “I was hoping to get 8As. I was not used to the new format, but I tried my best,” she said.

To celebrate her results, she said her parents would be taking her out to eat.

SJK(T) Ladang Edinburgh headmistress Theresa Ayyakkannu was happy with her pupils’ performance.

“We have a 100% passing rate for Mathematics and Science.

“The passing rate for all the other subjects have also improved,” she said.

She praised everyone including the pupils’ parents and teachers for their hard work.

“The teachers put in a lot of time and energy, even coming to school during the weekends to teach extra classes. Parents cooperated with the school and our pupils have put in a lot of effort too,” she added.

by EMILY CHANOOI MAY SIM, and LEE CHONGHUI.

Rad more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/11/20/passing-upsr-with-flying-colours/

UPSR tailored to identify excellent pupils

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

PUTRAJAYA: Top scorers in this year’s new-curriculum Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) were those who showed strong scientific thinking skills, were able to elaborate and articulate well (in the language examinations), and demonstrated clear steps when tackling the mathematical questions.

“We want to recognise the academic achievements of these excellent pupils and differentiate them from the normal pupils,” said Examinations Syndicate director Datin Nawal Salleh.

“These are the standards that need to be met in the curriculum to show that they have absorbed the information (in the syllabus),” she told a press conference yesterday to explain the sudden drop in the UPSR 2016 results.

She said this year’s UPSR candidates were the first batch to use the new KSSR (Primary School Standard Curriculum) from 2011.

Nawal said parents who were unhappy with their children’s results could appeal by obtaining the forms at schools or the counter of the Education Ministry office in Putrajaya.

On Thursday, Education director-general Tan Sri Khair Mohamad Yusof said 4,896 pupils scored straight As this year or 1.1% of the 440,782 candidates who sat for the examinations, compared with 38,344 or 17.7% out of 337,384 students last year under the old format.

Nawal said the results should not be compared with last year as the format has been changed to suit the aspirations of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2015.

“This year should be the benchmark,” she said, adding that the UPSR format had not been changed for the past decade.

She also said that children’s development and assessment in school should not be based just on their ability to score but also on how well they performed in their school assessment, physical activity, sports and co-curricular assessment, and psychometric assessment.

She said this was why schools were instructed to provide reports on the above when they handed out the results slips to the pupils.

She added that one of the aspirations of the blueprint was to produce students with strong leadership qualities and thinking skills.

Hence, Nawal said the syndicate decided to include elements of higher order thinking skills (HOTS) in this year’s UPSR.

“The HOTS questions have been designed to test if a pupil has grasped the concept,” she said.

She also said the incorporation of HOTS questions was not new as it has been part of the KSSR.

“We want to develop HOTS from the time these children are in primary school,” she said, adding that the process of developing these skills happen during teaching and learning in the classroom.

by REBECCA RAJAENDRAM.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/19/upsr-tailored-to-identify-excellent-pupils-top-scorers-showed-strong-scientific-mathematical-and-lan/

3As and 3Bs sufficient for entry into residential schools

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

PETALING JAYA: The minimum academic requirement to apply for a place in the country’s fully residential schools for 2017 is 3As and 3Bs in the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) 2016 examinations.

The Education Ministry said that the change in entry policy, requirements and criteria to residential schools was based on the modifications and higher quality of the UPSR 2016 examinations.

“However, the selection and placement rankings of the student in the residential school does not solely depend on their academic achievements in the UPSR,” it said in a statement.

The ministry said the student’s school assessment, physical activity, sports and co-curricular assessment and psychometric assessment reports – which are part of the school-based assessment – will also be taken into account.

The ministry hoped that parents of students who wish to enrol in these schools in 2017 would not worry as the selection process would be fair and based on the students’ entire achievement profile as reflected in their school-based assessment reports.

There are 9,000 places open for Form One in 69 residential schools for the 2017 academic year.

Speaking after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ministry and Microsoft Malaysia yesterday, Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said the ministry has received 60,000 online applications from pupils who were keen to enter fully residential schools next year.

In a separate statement, Mara said it was reviewing entrance criteria for entry to Form One in Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) for the 2017 school year based on the 2016 UPSR results.

The current entry requirement to MRSM is 6As in the UPSR with priority given to those from the lower income bracket.

In a statement yesterday, it said it would announce the new requirements soon.

There are 7,500 Form One places in MRSM for next year.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/19/3as-and-3bs-sufficient-for-entry-into-residential-schools/

New UPSR format sees big drop in straight A scorers

Friday, November 18th, 2016
    We did it: The 11 pupils from SK Bukit Rahman Putra who scored straight As posing at their school.

We did it: The 11 pupils from SK Bukit Rahman Putra who scored straight As posing at their school.

PUTRAJAYA: This year’s Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) results which saw fewer candidates scoring straight As, cannot be compared with last year’s due to the change in format.

Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said this year’s UPSR candidates were the first batch who used the new KSSR (Primary School Standard Curriculum) and went through the PBS (School-based Assessment),” he said when announcing the UPSR 2016 results analysis here yesterday.

He said that a total of 4,896 pupils scored straight As this year or 1.1% of the 440,782 candidates who sat for the examinations, compared to 38,344 or 17.7% out of 337,384 students last year under the old format.

This year also marks the first time the English Language has been split into two grades, one each for the comprehension and writing papers.

At least 23% failed to achieve the minimum D in their English Language Writing paper while about 16% did not achieve the mini­mum D for the Comprehension paper, he said.

“The candidates have yet to achieve a level we desire for the English Language Writing paper,” he added.

Dr Khair said this revealed the candidates’ weaknesses in writing accurate and grammatically correct answers.

He said that among the other changes were more Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions being used in this year’s examinations.

The 2016 UPSR language comprehension papers also contained, for the first time, multiple forms of objective questions and limited response questions, he added.

Dr Khair explained that multiple forms of objective questions included fill-in-the-blanks type of questions.

He also said that this year’s UPSR results do not just take into account the academic achievements of pupils.

“Pupils who sat for the UPSR 2016 examinations can collect their results slip together with their school assessment, physical activity, sports and co-curricular assessment and psychometric assessment reports,” he added.

He said this was to provide a more comprehensive, holistic and meaningful picture of a pupil’s achievements.

Dr Khair added that all candidates would continue their studies and enrol in secondary school.

In Sungai Buloh, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said UPSR was not the end of students’ academic journey but just the beginning.

Presenting certificates to five pupils who sat for the Pentaksiran Alternatif Sekolah Rendah (PASR), which is equivalent to UPSR but designed for pupils with special needs at SK Bukit Rahman Putra, he said this year’s result was not disappointing despite the new format.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/18/new-upsr-format-sees-big-drop-in-straight-a-scorers/

SK St Monica keeps UPSR top spot in Sandakan

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Results

Top scorers of SK St Monica show their examination result slips with their teachers

SANDAKAN: SK St Monica retains its place as the top school with the best examination results for Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) 2016 in this district.

It also kept its ranking as the fourth best school in Sabah for UPSR 2016, when the results were announced on Thursday.

This year, it obtained an 88.97 per cent pass with a school average grade of 2.41.

Six pupils scored 6As and they are Andi Mohd Asyraf Paturusi bin Adam, Andi Nurul Asyiqin binti Arshad, Brandon Chin Min Qiao, Brenna Lo Tzi Yuet, Nurin Afifah binti Mohd Azlan and Sanchitha A/P Sangkar.

A total of 136 candidates sat for the UPSR in SK St Monica and 10 of them scored at least 5As for all subjects taken. There was however a slight drop in the passing rate compared to last year. The percentage was 91.45 per cent in 2015 and 88.97 per cent this year.

The school average grade last year was 1.92. SK Sungai Madang was second after SK St Monica with a 100 per cent passing rate this year and a school average grade of 2.56.

by ALIZA ALAWI