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Stop the senseless comparisons

  • Studying is never meant to create numbers for making comparisons.

Sin Chew Daily

The education ministry has released this year's Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) results based on the new model. Four school-based reports will be released, namely UPSR, Class-Based Assessment (PBD), Physical Activity, Sports, and Co-curricular Assessment (PAJSK) and Psychometric Assessment (PPsi).

No more comparative analyses for candidates, schools and states from this year on!

Under the new model, the public may still gain access to several parameters, such as the number of candidates with exceptional scores.

According to the ministry's statistics, some 8,958 candidates nationwide scored A's in UPSR this year, 4,062 more than last year's 4,896. The numbers of candidates taking individual subjects and the results were also released, to give the public a clearer picture of the overall performances of students. However, as mentioned earlier, there are no comparative analyses for candidates, schools and states.

The new model signifies the authorities' determination to crush the narrow-minded concept of making comparisons among students, as it shifts its focus towards individual candidates' academic performances and unleashing their latent potentials.

In addition, the education ministry will also drop the School Average Grade (GPS) and Subject Average Grade (GPMP) components so as not to exert unnecessary pressure on school authorities and teachers.

Under modern education system, examination is supposed to be a vital tool to gauge the learning capacity of students. Unfortunately, the importance of examinations has been infinitely magnified as parents and students fumble to outdo their peers for academic superiority.

Parents are comparing among themselves for the largest numbers of A's scored by their children, while the poor kids blindly go after the numbers to satisfy their parents' vanity. Even schools and teachers have now given in to such unhealthy rivalry.

As our education system gets dominated by insensible pursuit of scores, people begin to pitch themselves against their peers for numerical supremacy. No one will claim the eventual triumph in this kind of rivalry, as school authorities, teachers and students put themselves under insurmountable stress, some even losing their goals in the course of pursuing top scores, putting behind them the real meaning of education.

Due to the increasing severity of this phenomenon, it is utterly necessary for all relevant parties to revert to the nature of education and depart from the myth of score numerals and senseless comparisons, so as to refocus on individual students' academic performance and holistic development. Anyway, studying is never meant to create numbers for making comparisons.

The education ministry's move to shift to the new assessment methodology for UPSR away from the antiquated "comparative" elements is a positive move to relieve the excessive build-up of pressure as a consequence of stiff competition, allowing schools, teachers and parents to divert their attention back to the students themselves instead of being constantly hijacked by the comparative mentality.



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