New Straits Times bertarikh 23 Januari 2013 – ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
22 February 2013

Ministry of Education (MoE) would like to refer to Letter to Editor by Liong Kam Chong, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan published in The New Straits Times dated 23 January 2013 on the issue of – Room for improvement.

The PBS Management System (SPPBS) will normally be closed for a short period of one to four hours to allow regular maintenance. The Ministry of Education will post the temporary closing notices through MOE website and Examinations Syndicate’s portal. For the 2012 year-end maintenance, the SPPBS was closed for a longer period beginning 30 November 2012 to early January 2013 to allow for the APDM (Aplikasi Pangkalan Data Murid) system to be used in updating students’ movement to the next class/grade as well as registering a new students. SPPBS was reopened on 21 January 2013 and will run until 10 February 2013 to enable teachers to key in students data should they missed any in 2012. The annual maintenance is necessary since SPPBS imports the APDM’s data to be used as part of the system.

School assessment, a component of the PBS, is carried out by teachers during the teaching and learning. It is planned, administered, scored, and reported by teachers in the school. Teachers will continuously update students’ progress and it will be made known to parents. Parents can obtain feedbacks on their children’s achievement from subject teachers and the report is generated via the SPPBS. This report contains information about pupils’ achievement at a particular stage.

School assessment may be carried out in the form of formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment is carried out during the process of teaching and learning. On the other hand, summative assessment is carried out at the end of a learning unit, term, month or year. Therefore, schools may conduct tests or exams as deem required by the schools. The tests or exams conducted are parts of the PBS summative assessment.

Document of Performance Standards (DSP) contains guidelines for assessment and reports pupils’ achievements at different stages of learning as intended in the curriculum. This document includes bands, statements of standards, descriptors and evidence. DSP is used to assess pupils during the teaching and learning process. However, teachers must refer to the curriculum document to ensure that the content and intended learning outcomes are being addressed.

PBS makes it possible for teachers to provide immediate feedbacks to pupils at each stage of the learning curve. The feedbacks that are based on the Performance Standards will enable teachers and pupils to identify pupils’ strengths and weaknesses during the learning process. Thus, early detection of pupils’ inability to master a skill should enable teachers to formulate remedial tasks to help their pupils to improve their learning and achievement accordingly. Again, it is wise to remember that pupils are assessed against a set of performance indicator and not compared to the achievement of their peers. Hence, PBS enables learners’ to advance at their own pace in a less stressful learning environment.

Descriptive and meaningful reporting will be issued by the Examinations Syndicate through students’ profile, performance, development and involvement in learning activities at the lower secondary level. Mastery and achievement of students in School Assessment (PS), Central Assessment (PP), Physical Activity, Sports and Co-curricular Assessment (PAJSK), and Psychometric Assessment (PPsi) will be reported at the end of lower secondary school. Thus, these comprehensive reports will be referred to stakeholders for respective purposes.

Teachers are the most appropriate persons to assess their own pupils because they:
1. can continuously monitor their pupils’ development
2. can provide constructive feedbacks to help pupils improve their performance
3. better understand the context and environment most conducive for pupils development
4. appraise and provide feedbacks based on the Performance Standards

Teachers’ integrity should not be doubted. Credibility is ensured through mentoring, coordination, monitoring and tracking.

Quality assurance is carried out to ensure PBS is of the highest quality and is carried out according to the guidelines provided. Quality assurance is achieved through mentoring, coordination, monitoring and tracking.

Mentoring is the process of assisting, facilitating and guiding teachers to carry out PBS according to the correct procedures and principles of PBS. Mentoring also ensures that teachers’ knowledge and understanding of PBS is constantly enhanced and updated. Monitoring is the process of ensuring that the correct procedures as outlined by the Examinations Syndicate have been observed in carrying out PBS. Coordination ensures that the score awarded for tasks/assignments is not only fair but also reliable and valid. Coordination is necessary to ensure the reliability and credibility of the assessment outcomes.

Internal mentoring/monitoring/coordination is carried out by Senior Teachers/Heads of Departments, Master Trainers, Guru Cemerlang and Principals or Head Teachers. External mentoring/monitoring/coordination is carried out by officers from the Examinations Syndicate/State Education Departments and District Education Office.

Tracking is the process of evaluating assessment instruments used to carry out PBS in order to:
1. Identify the strength, weaknesses and practicality of said instruments
2. Evaluate reliability and validity of said instruments
3. Suggest improvements to the instruments

Tracking is carried out by officers from the Examinations Syndicate or other relevan organisations appointed by the Examinations Syndicate.



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