Imparting HOT skills to pupils

PRIORITY: Digital learning tool to draw pupils’ interests.

SEREMBAN: COME next year, pupils nationwide will be equipped with Higher Order Thinking (HOT) skills, to be imparted to them via classroom teaching, co-curricular activities and examinations.

The implementation, under the National Education Blueprint, aims to produce pupils with HOT skills who can compete with the best internationally.

Deputy director-general of Education (policy and development) Datuk Amin Senin said: “HOT skills refer to more than just the ability to read, write and count, but also to think and analyse a situation critically.

“In today’s competitive world, pupils need to do more than just memorise or retell the facts. By executing the HOT skills, they will be taught how to learn and reason, and apply what they think as solutions to problems in their work environment in the future,” he said at a press conference in a hotel here.

Unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the National Education Blueprint is a result of a year of extensive research and public engagement.

Amin said the application of HOT skills have long existed in the education system but it has not been fully implemented in classroom teachings.

“When the skills were applied in classroom teachings, they were not focused or executed holistically. This caused the ministry to come up with the idea of integrating the skills in all aspects of education, including integrating them in examination questions.”

He said previous examination questions only integrated 10 per cent of the HOT skills.

“However, starting 2014, almost all questions will be applying the skills. Accordingly, there are levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation which pupils need to master and they will all be revised with higher order thinking questions.”

The co-curricular activities in schools would also involve more project-based assignments, quizzes and outdoor activities which require higher order thinking skills.

“Initially, the ministry was contemplating making HOT skills a subject, and making it compulsory for pupils to learn a critical thinking subject in the classroom.”

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