Yong calls on Education Ministry to carry out nationwide academic assessment on students

Violet Yong (File Photo).

KUCHING, Oct 6: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has called on the Ministry of Education (MOE) to carry out a nationwide assessment on students’ academic performance to determine the magnitude of learning loss in order to come up with measures that can help students get back on track as well as deploy blended learning strategies.

She opined that MOE has “failed to transform the quality and delivery of education in the past 20 months since Covid-19 emerged”, which has forced students and educators across all levels of education to rapidly adapt to online learning following closures of schools and other learning institutions.

“The main issue is that if a Year One student has not mastered the necessary skills, they will never be able to catch up with the lessons in the subsequent levels, thus creating a lost generation.

“With the nationwide assessment results, the ministry can then decide whether students should either repeat the year or proceed to the next level or reinvent hybrid learning modalities.

“The government can then allocate sufficient funds, resources and engage expertise to develop appropriate contents and materials that are relevant to the technology and students learning modalities,” she said in a statement today.

However, Yong stressed that the nationwide assessment should not be used to evaluate the teachers’ performance but to serve as a guideline for MOE to plan their next course of actions for the betterment of students.

Secondly, she also suggested that MOE separate the curriculum into two main domains of knowledge and skills.

“For the knowledge domain, the learning materials must be developed to enable self-learning which can be distributed to students either through print materials (for areas lacking in Internet connectivity) or digital platform.

“With that, one group of students can learn on their own at home while another group of students can have physical classes for skills-related lessons.

“The groups can switch between home learning and physical classes on a weekly basis. This is actually not a new strategy but a modified flip-classroom approach,” she explained.

Yong emphasised that the pre-pandemic teaching pedagogy and strategies are no longer appropriate given the new normal of living and moreover, teachers have to undertake additional tasks in ensuring the safety, health and well-being of students.

“The MOE needs to upskill all teachers so they are equipped with pedagogical skills to handle students’ alternate learning schedule.

“It is also necessary for MOE to organise town hall sessions to engage all stakeholders to iron out the relevant issues as well as coming up with a collective strategy.

“Without a well planned strategy and adequate support, the effort by the teachers will be futile, and the students will experience even less learning,” she added. — DayakDaily