The education ministry is standing by its decision not to reinstate the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) and the Form Three Assessment (PT3), despite requests from parents for the reintroduction of the public examinations.
Deputy Education Minister Mohamad Alimin said the UPSR and PT3 exams were abolished as the ministry wanted to produce human capital with skills in various fields who were not limited to academic fields.
"We have explained many times that this time, we are taking a more inclusive approach, not just based on exams. We want to produce human capital with capabilities in many other fields.
"Malaysia is moving towards a more developed country, we want to supply the country with human capital with diverse expertise. That is the main goal," he told reporters after closing a programme in Putrajaya today.
Alimin said this when asked to comment on media reports that more and more parents want the UPSR exam to be reinstated on the grounds that the education ministry is not prepared to implement classroom-based assessments (PBD) as the single approach to the assessment system in schools.
The aim of the PBD is to reduce the emphasis on academic achievements through examinations, thereby allowing students to enjoy learning.
However, educationists and parents have pointed out that there are many uncertainties in the system and call for it to be overhauled.
They say the ministry has yet to meet the three main prerequisites of PBD regarding the ideal number of students in a class to make it easier for the teacher to monitor and evaluate them; a syllabus that is not too dense to give way to various activities in the class; and full autonomy for teachers to assess students.
On April 28 this year, the education ministry abolished the UPSR examination and said it would strengthen school-based assessments (PBS) and PBD.
On June 2, the ministry announced that PT3 would be abolished starting this year and replaced by the strengthening of the PBS approach.