Thursday, February 20, 2014

“It took me two minutes just to key in one student’s data."




Kamalanathan finds PBS hard, too

The complaints by teachers about the difficulty in accessing the school-based assessments system or PBS are valid. Deputy Edu­cation Minister P. Kamalanathan has learnt that first-hand.

“I have tried logging on to the (online) system myself.

“It took me two minutes just to key in one student’s data.

“If a teacher has three classes of 30 students, this means it will take at least three hours to key in the data.

“This is why the ministry has set up a war room and a hotline for teachers to report the problems they are facing,” he said at SK Jalan Simpangan 1 and 2 yesterday.

Kamalanathan was on a visit to several schools in the Kajang area, including SJK(T) Kajang and SMK Tinggi Kajang.

He said a special team would collect feedback on the teachers’ problems with the system and work on rectifying them.

A main complaint by teachers was the inaccessibility of the online database used to key in data on students’ achievement.
He added that the PBS was a “good system that has been proven to work in many countries around the world”.


“We just have to take another look at the implementation, the mechanism used (for the PBS),” he said.
The PBS system was introduced in primary schools, starting with Year One pupils in 2011 and in secondary schools with Form One students in 2012.

Following grouses by teachers over the inaccessibility of the online database, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said earlier this month that the PBS would be reviewed.

At the same time, teacher group Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia confirmed that it would go ahead with its planned protest over the matter tomorrow at the Bandar Baru Bangi mosque.

Meanwhile, Parent Action Group for Edu­cation Malaysia (PAGE) called for the PBS to be put on hold until “all kinks are ironed out” as parents were still sceptical of the system.
“PBS requires that teachers evaluate each student individually. This can cause inconsistent marking.
“Not only are teachers not used to such a marking scheme, but teacher evaluation is subjective and varies among different teachers and schools.

“In addition, a real sore point with teachers is that PBS evaluation comes with a huge baggage of administrative and clerical chores in the method of reporting students’ progress,” said the group in a statement on Thursday.

According to the ministry’s website, the “war room” for the PBS opens from 8am to 10pm, and its helpdesk can be reached at 03-8889 3640/ 3520/ 3601/ 3551/ 3022. - TheStar

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