Thursday, February 13, 2014

ProBlemS For Teachers?

Teachers still grappling with PBS

Three years after being put in place, school-based assessment or PBS is still posing major problems for teachers.
And a group has said it is going ahead with its protest to highlight the weaknesses of PBS, despite assurances by the Education Ministry that the system will be reviewed.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession said a full review of the system was needed for it to be more user-friendly.
NUTP secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said a major problem was the inaccessibility of the PBS online database used by teachers to key in data on students’ achievement.

“We’re glad they (the Education Ministry) are addressing the difficulties teachers face,” she said, adding that the online system should be tested after the review to make sure problems had been fixed.
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday that PBS would be reviewed following complaints from teachers who had difficulty accessing the system.
Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia or SGMM, however, questioned the scope and nature of the proposed review.

Its working committee head Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari said: “Before PBS was implemented, the ministry told us that they had carried out extensive pilot projects and studies by experts. Are they now saying the previous studies are of no use?
“It is also not clear if the new review will only deal with problems with the online database, or the implementation of the policy itself.”

He also said that SGMM would go ahead with its scheduled protest over PBS on Feb 22 at the ministry in Putrajaya.
“This is a last resort after going through all the proper channels of discussion.
“We are not against the Government or its policies, but we just want to highlight the weaknesses of this particular policy,” he added.

A 53-year-old secondary school teacher in Negri Sembilan said PBS could not cope with the high volume of assessments which had to be keyed into the system.
“I have about 165 students under me and each has to be assessed after every class. I have to get up at 4am to complete the assessments,” he said.

The science teacher, with 33 years of experience, said replacing exams with PBS was a mistake because students no longer had to work hard.

“They (students) are assessed by their own teachers and the results can be manipulated,” he added.
A senior teacher from Perak said PBS was an “idealistic concept plastered onto a third-world context”, and not enough thought had been given to its implementation. - The Star


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