[June 29, 2014]


(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers, parents and representatives of Parent- Teacher Association (PTA) welcomed the new Form Three Assessment (PT3), which will replace Penilaian Menengah Rendah.

Most teachers said the new system under the school-based assessment (PBS) would provide a better opportunity for each student to excel and help to nurture higher-order thinking skills.

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pandan Jaya Geography teacher, Liao Lee Lian said students will have have a chance to cultivate their talents through field work and research, and while translating all this knowledge into a written report under the guidance of teachers.

"Under the PT3, students are required to collect information that is related to the topic, prior to presenting these materials in class. This process is facilitated by the respective teachers.

"This process helps students to be independent as well as encourage their critical thinking skills as they complete the assignment based on their own ability," said Liao, adding that the teachers role was to only guide students to explore their respective potential.

More importantly, Liao said, among the other benefits of PT3 was that the students' future would not rely entirely on an examination.

"It is not just one exam on one particular day. Under PT3, students are given a timeframe from July 1 to July 18 for the History and Geographic assessment. This can actually provide a better chance for students to pass the subjects," she said, while adding that teachers would collect their students' assignments on a daily basis during the period.

A total of 480,000 Form Three students nationwide will start their PT3 examination with final assessment for History and Geography starting tomorrow. The assessment will be conducted via the case studies instrument.

Kuala Lipis Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) history teacher Mohd Fahmin Fauzi said PT3 allows students to have an in-depth understanding of a subject.

"Unlike the PMR which was examination-oriented, PT3 requires students to come up with questionnaires and obtain information from sources, such as from the internet, magazines or text books to complete their report.

"The students will have to think out-of-the box during the process which helps to nurture and develop higher-order thinking skills," he said.

Fahmin said PT3 was by far a more concise and comprehensive assessment as compared to PMR, as the latter would cultivate a student's soft skills which would help them become a well-rounded individual.

"Through the PT3, the Education Ministry aims to produce students who are excellent in all aspects, and not only academics.

"The assessment will test students in various aspects. It would improve their communication skills, and boost their ability to work as a team besides promoting creativity and critical thinking.

"This will prepare them for entry into higher levels of education later on," said Fahmin.

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