EXPERTS: NEW SYSTEM SHOULD STAY
Vital for students to develop thinking skills from a young age, say educationists
THE Education Ministry should not resort to a knee-jerk reaction in view of the lower number of candidates achieving straight As in last year’s Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
The improved examination system, with the new Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions, was much needed, said educationists.
Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim told the New Straits Times that the new school-based assessment system, which incorporated HOTS questions, could not be expected to be an overnight success.
“It is important to keep HOTS. It is needed, especially when students enter the job market.
“In this age, students have to think at that level as early as possible,” she said.
If students did not improve their critical thinking skills in their youth, she said, they might get left behind.
“We have to confront the challenges and persevere.”
National Union of the Teaching Profession president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said the current education reform with the new HOTS questions should stay.
He said the syllabus should focus on thinking skills, understanding of concepts, application of knowledge and problem-solving.
“These are the qualities that students need when they enter university. We want students to be more holistic, not just book smart or exam-oriented.”
He said parents must understand that even if a student did not get an A for a subject, it did not mean the student was underachieving.
“The implementation of HOTS allows students to apply their knowledge in various situations, requiring them to critically analyse a situation and find ways to solve open-ended problems.”
Penang Education Department director Shaari Osman said teachers should engage their students during the teaching and learning process to pique their interests in different subjects.
“More classroom activities should be introduced. It is not an impossible feat.
“The department will work with schools to see how we can produce more holistic students who can think outside the box.”