I read an article in one of local newspapers few days ago about the suggestion of abolishing UPSR and PMR. Actually this issue has been discussed few years back but until now both public examinations are still there. In the proposal, they want to replace UPSR and PMR with school assessments which are not just based on examinations but also some practical assessments.
As I'm in the educational field (though I'm not teaching school children), I strongly feel that the suggestion is a very wonderful suggestion. WHY? Personally, I just don't want my children to feel so stressed like I used to feel every time I sat for those public exams. The pressures to excel, to make my parents feel proud and also peer pressures is too much to be handled. At the end, I don't think I really enjoy my school time except for some memories of other non-academic achievements and teachers who managed to impart some important knowledge.
Nowadays, things are getting worse when there are a lot of parents who really want their children to excel in those public examinations just for the sake of bragging about their children to their friends. That's why some children are sent to tuition centres as early as 5 and 6 years old! Maybe some parents will disagree with me on this but I strongly believe in teaching my children and equipping them with both IQ and EQ. A person who has a high IQ is not going to survive unless his/her EQ helps him/her to make sense of what's happening. In short, if you intelligent but you don't have any social skills, you are going to have a hard time in fitting in the society and even at your workplace.
I'm not sure how are the teachers going to assess their students in schools when UPSR and PMR are abolished. I can just assume the system might be like the system that's been used in US, UK and other countries. One thing for sure, this should not be done drastically and a lot of study and research are needed. I always pity my fellow friends who are teaching in schools when they complain that they have to carry out whatever instructions they receive from the ministry. At the end, teachers,school children and also parents are those who would suffer the consequences.
So, any comments? Just drop a line or two as I want to know your opinion about this.