Sunday, October 16, 2016

PT3.... External Internal Exams

That means the questions are set by the Lembaga Peperiksaan but the school teachers mark their own students' scripts. And also the school prints the exam papers. Externally set but internally printed and marked. That's what an external internal exam means.

This is the 3rd year running. Is this better than PMR?

First, from the students perspective. Questions are deemed tougher. Why not? After years of objective questions mostly, kids these days don't take subjective questions very well. I think different sets of grey matter are at work here. For one, you cannot 'agar-agak' your answers any more. Also, after years of prepping students for PMR, I think teachers are also at a loss in getting the students ready. We have been spoon feeding the kids too long that we are finding it hard to figure out how not to spoon feed. And there are the effects of PBS to be reckoned with too, those heady days where everyone was worksheet obsessed cos every skill 'mastered' required recording.

But, then again, kids are able to get these amazing tips for PT3 these days too. For all that is worth, the tips seem to be very accurate. Friends have confirmed that there are special classes carried out on the eve of the PT3 exams. Those kids who attend pay. RM30 ringgit above for those sessions. Were the tips reliable? Well, one only needs to ask around and the answer is quite apparent. Despite all those pledges of secrecy, one has to admit that the whole thing can become rather porous. After all, papers need to be printed... that's one. Then they need to be stapled.. another one. Basically the whole hierarchy of the school is accountable here.

In a school system like ours where we have so many different labelling, the labelling itself might also pose a problem. A school which is in the selected list would be hard pressed to produce sterling results befitting of its listing... Berprestasi Tinggi, Kluster Kecemerlangan. Seems like listing can be bad too. Stiff competition among schools to top the district, state also play a role. In the end, despite being an internal exam which is supposed to be a yardstick for the students to gauge their ability ends up being used as a comparison to other schools. We just cannot stop comparing, it seems. So, it is not hard to imagine that accurate tips can find their way out of the secrecy that they are supposed to be cloaked under to the hands of those intended for assessment.

As for the teachers, their hands are full after the exams. Where once, teachers would spend time organising games or activities, these days they are hard pressed for time to finish marking. A whole year of marking and grading would have taken their toll by now and most would be too drained to concern themselves with any enrichment activities. Students lose out too. There are schools who tell their students not to go to school after their PT3 exams. Seems like the school is just a place for academic pursuits. Whatever happened to it as a fun place too? A place where one grows up? I remember the days when we still had SRP. The post exam days were spent in the classroom playing board games, reading books, chatting with friends and planning activities. We were given the freedom to go to school... or not to. But, some schools don't allow those activities these days. So many restrictions... sigh!

Also, kids are barred from attending school in some schools. So, they get an extended holiday thrust down their throats. Kids don't get a chance to spend time with their friends. They get locked out from their school, which is such a sad thing.

As for the PT3 exam. Who would expect that an internal exam would become a business opportunity too? It is and apparently has great potential. Accurate tip givers can make a killing. The desperation to score would see to that. Parting with RM30 or RM50 is cheap for the number of A(s) that it can buy.

Another curtain is coming to a close. Another year ending. Time flies when one is busy. And when one is busy, one forgets sometimes to stop and smell the roses. That is not good too. There is more to life than just work.