Chai: Abolishment of UPSR ‘inevitable’, will improve quality of education

Jonathan Chai

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KUCHING, April 29: The termination of the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) is inevitable in order to improve the quality of education, said the Sarawak United Association of Chinese Primary School Boards of Management secretary-general Jonathan Chai.

Chai in a press statement today said with public examinations like UPSR in place, parents tend to emphasize on cognitive elements, and assume that UPSR serves as a benchmark to assess the standard of learning acquired by their children at the primary school level.

According to him, some viewed that UPSR was still relevant and should be maintained as the exam would motivate the students to study hard and even help to keep the teachers committed to their teaching.

“Of course, some would have reservations and feel skeptical about the objectivity of the teachers in carrying out the assessment. Whatever the reasons maybe, the abolition of UPSR is inevitable following the announcement of the Senior Minister of Education (MoE) yesterday.

“I just hope that in order to ensure the successful implementation of the educational reform, the ministry would be well prepared to improve on the quality and professionalism of the assessment expected of the teachers and responsibly monitor the implementation of the policy from time to time,” he said.

Chai opined that this was the right direction charted by the MoE to replace the examination oriented approach with the school-based evaluation in the primary schools.

He said with a school-based assessment, student’s learning could be continuously assessed and intervention and remedial action carried out immediately as and when necessary.

Chai also pointed out that much has to be done by the ministry in order to achieve the success of such reform, particularly, the professionalism of the teachers in carrying out the assessment must be enhanced by providing more training.

“The administrative workloads of the teachers should be reduced to give way to prepare for teaching materials and carrying out any purposeful assessment of the students and that the students and teacher ratio per class should ideally be kept at 25 to 1 which is presently impossible for some overcrowded classes in some big schools in the urban areas,” he suggested. —DayakDaily