Beginning this year, the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) or lower secondary assessment examination, will be replaced with the Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3) or Form 3 Assessment, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.The Star Online wrote:
Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said through the implementation of improvements in the School-Based Assessment (SBA) on April 1, there would no longer be any centralised examination for Form 3 students implemented at the school level.
“PT3 replaces PMR. There is some form of assessment at the school level,” he added.
He said PT3 would be used as the basis to determine the entry of students into Form 4 in fully residential schools, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama, Mara Junior Science Colleges (MRSM), including Sekolah Menengah Teknik (SMT), and vocational colleges.
“Besides PT3, entry into these schools will also be based on the psychometric test to ensure that the selection and emplacement of students suited their capability and interest,” he told a press conference at Parliament House here today.
He said the abolishing of the current online centralised system for SBA, which required teachers to key in students’ records, would reduce the workload of teachers.
“It had been pointed out that it was a burden for teachers to key in online all important data into a centralised system. Now, this is not necessary,” he said, adding that teachers could enter the data at their own time based on their workload.
Teachers can keep the data for their own assessment and produce it to update parents on the students’ progress.
“The school can prepare a performance report, by holding monthly tests, mid-year examination or final-year examination,” he added.
The SBA system was introduced to primary school pupils in 2011 and extended to secondary school students in 2012.
However, the system was seen to be pressuring teachers and led to a protest by the Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia last month.
From this year, Form Three students would be tested via Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3 or Form 3 Assessment) which replaces the Penilaian Menengah Rendah.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said PT3 would be held at the school level.
“This means there is no centralised examination for Form Three students as in previous years,” he told reporters when announcing the changes made to the school-based assessment (PBS) after a meeting with teaching unions.
The PMR, which was introduced in 1993 to replace the Sijil Rendah Pelajaran examination, was held for the last time in 2013. The PBS system was introduced in primary schools, starting with Year One pupils in 2011 and in secondary schools with Form One students in 2012.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said students would be assessed via written and oral tests for Bahasa Melayu and English.
Science, Mathematics, Islamic Studies, Living Skills, Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, Iban and Kadazanusun would be assessed via a written test while History and Geography would be assessed via assignments, practical tests, projects, field study and case studies. The written tests would be held in October while History and Geography would be assessed throughout the year.
Muhyiddin stressed that schools would administer, assess and score the assessments based on standardised guidelines prepared by the Education Ministry’s Examinations Syndicate.
“The Examinations Syndicate will prepare questions with different levels of difficulty from easy, moderate to hard and place them in a question bank. Schools can then choose these questions and use them when they are assessing the students via the written tests,” he said.
He said the syndicate would monitor schools to ensure they chose the questions which reflected the levels of difficulty and that no school chose questions that were all considered easy.
Unlike in previous years when the ministry would announce the results of the PMR in November, Muhyiddin said it was up to the individual schools to decide when to release the results of the PT3.
He said the Examinations Syndicate and a team of outside assessors would moderate and verify the results.
“This is to ensure there is consistency among marks given while verification is to ensure students get the marks they deserve,” he said.
Muhyiddin said students and their parents could approach the schools to see their performance in the PT3 and to obtain a results slip, which would be used for entry to Form Four as well as for applications into fully residential schools, religious secondary schools, Mara Junior Science College, technical secondary schools and vocational colleges.
Psychometric tests, he added, would also be used for entry into the residential schools to ensure students are placed according to their interests and capability.