MAY 8, 2003 THU

Malaysia's education system to be
less exam-oriented

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is revamping its school system to make it less exam-oriented in a move to better gauge students' abilities, said the Education Ministry.
'We need a fresh and new philosophy in our approach to exams,' said Education Minister Musa Ahmad.
He added that there would be greater reliance on school-based assessment in the future.
For instance, pupils at primary and secondary schools will get 30 per cent of their marks from course work. The other 70 per cent will be from examinations.
'We want to make the education system less exam-oriented and are looking at increasing school-based assessment as it would be a better gauge of students' abilities,' he added.
The minister said while major examinations would not be abolished in favour of school-based assessment, they would have less bearing on students' overall grades.
These examinations are the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah or primary school assessment examination, the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysian and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia - the equivalent of the O and A levels.
Tan Sri Musa was speaking after opening a four-day national seminar on education assessment for teachers and lecturers.
He said school-based assessment was also being used in vocational education.
'We want this approach to be expanded to all levels of education,' said Tan Sri Musa.
Such a method of assessment would be in line with the practice in the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and Finland, he added.