Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Ministry admits to poor level of English among students


Dividing English Language into two subjects – Writing and Comprehension – for the first time in this year’s UPSR examination, has helped the education ministry to better ascertain the key area of weakness in the language.

The ministry revealed yesterday that at least 23 per cent of the Primary 6 students who sat for the UPSR failed the English Language Writing paper.

The performance was better for the English Language Comprehension paper, but it was still considered weak with 16 per cent not getting the minimum D to pass the subject.

“The results show that Primary 6 students have yet to achieve a level we desire for writing in the English Language,” Education director-general Khair Mohamad Yusof said when giving an analysis of the UPSR exam results at the ministry’s office in Putrajaya yesterday.

He added that the two papers also revealed the students’ weakness in writing accurate and grammatically-correct answers.

The overall performance in this year’s UPSR examination for students, who will be entering secondary school from next year, was weaker than in previous years.

The key performance indicator of students getting straight As, showed a drastic drop when comparing this year’s results to that of last year.

“A total of 4,896 students scored straight As this year, that is 1.1 per cent of the 440,782 students who sat for the UPSR examinations. This is compared with 38,344 students or 17.7 per cent out of 337,384 students, under the old format,” he said.

One of the other changes from the old format Khair was referring to were more Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions being used in this year’s examinations.

He said the UPSR language comprehension papers had for the first time also incorporated multiple forms of objective questions and limited response questions.

“The multiple forms of objective questions included fill-in-the-blanks type of questions,” Khair added.

This year, the first batch of primary school students who had used the new KSSR (Primary School Standard Curriculum) and also went through the PBS (School-based Assessment), sat for the UPSR examinations.

As such, Khair said that this year’s UPSR results did not just take into account the academic achievements of the students.

“Pupils who sat for the UPSR 2016 examinations can collect their results slip together with their school assessment, physical activity, sports and co-curricular assessment and psychometric assessment reports,” he said.

He added that this helped to provide parents with a more comprehensive, holistic and meaningful picture of their child’s achievements in school.


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