PMR resluts was announced on the last week of December 2007 and predictably there was an improvement in performance. It seemed now, our exam performance (going by the UPSR, PMR,SPM, and STPM results) are continuously improving year in and year out. Are all this real? Some insiders said there were pressures from certain groups to ensure that the results are constructed to ensure annual improvement are guaranteed. Unless you work that particular section of the Exam Syndicate or Exam Council, you would not know how the actual marking and grading systems works. And their lips are sealed by the mandatory jail term under the Official Secret Act. Having said that, we must remember that our exams are under the purview of the Cambridge Oversea Exam Syndicate, I am sure they have a certain standards to meet. Then results are indeed continuously improving. But, take the case of those who received grade E for this last year’s PMR. Grade E means the students have not achieved basic requirements to pass. They were 559 of them last year. Not a big number compared to the total number of students who took the exam last year. Now, cast your memory a couple of years back when the then Director General of Education, Dr. Ahamad Sipon incurred the wrath of teachers when he said, the teachers committed professional sin when thousands of students promoted to secondary schools but still illiterate. And imagine that out of these a few thousands, only 559 did not truly made it through PMR? Can you pass PMR without knowing how to read and write? I rest my case.
In my previous post, I anticipated that teachers would bear the brunt of parents’ frustration after discovering that they still have to pay school fees despite repeated media blitz that said come 2008, education is free. That was what truly happened throughout the country for the past few days since the new school year. I put the blame squarely on the media and psychopants politician who aggravated the matter. The media published what they want the public to hear and read not what the public should know. Things were made more difficult with politicians who had mastered the skills of double speaks and reading between the lines can be hazardous. The public are also guilty of listening only to what they wanted to hear but not the whole story. When Datuk Hishammuddin said parents is under no compulsion to pay PTA contributions, the media reported that parents are under no compulsion to pay yuran. They conveniently forgotten that he was referring specifically to PTA contributions, not the whole yuran. The PTA contribution has been optional for donkey years!!!
It still baffles me why the Ministry of Education does not come clean and make an attempt to clarify things either by writing to all the print media or taking up slots on the TV morning breakfast shows (which is dominated by artists and beauty tips these days). Or maybe they are taking the cue from what the Minister said last night, it is not an issue. I am sure the opposition has gain another potent bullet usable for taking potshots at the Government in the election campaign, which has unofficially started many months ago. You can almost see and hear the catchphrase “The Government is lying!!!”