KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to cancel the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) examinations would not affect assessment on pupil academic achievement, said former Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan.

He said without the examinations, students can still be evaluated on their learning capacity through various ways including students’ performance throughout the year involving quizzes, year-end examination and special projects.

He said learning and teaching could still be carried out during the Movement Control Order (MCO) while participation in classroom activities before and after MCO could be conducted online.

“I am sure the ministry would set up suitable mechanism to evaluate pupils apart from solely depending on the examination results.

“Extraordinary circumstances need extraordinary measures and I am sure the decision of the ministry was not made arbitrarily without taking into consideration the pupils’ priority and interest,” he told Bernama today.

Kamalanathan was commenting on the announcement of Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin yesterday to cancel the UPSR and PT3 examinations this year in the interest of the health of five million students in the country following the Covid-19 outbreak.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Aminuddin Awang said examination is not the only element to determine whether the process of education is proceeding smoothly or to evaluate student excellence.

Aminuddin explained that the absence of examination does not mean that the students will not be evaluated by teachers as there are other elements involved.

In fact, for those who sat for UPSR would also receive four elements of reporting namely Classroom Assessment (PBS), Physical Activity, Sports and Co-curriculum Assessment (PAJSK), psychometric assessment and UPSR.

Teachers are just as committed to implementing their responsibilities in providing education to Year Six and Form Three students during the MCO via online lessons, he added.

The Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said it did not matter whether students sat for UPSR and PT3 as all pupils would still progress to form one and form four regardless of their results.

“It is only for boarding schools which the ministry needs to have specific mechanism to evaluate pupils who met the required conditions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Technical and Vocational Education Faculty lecturer Professor Dr Ramlee Mustapha proposed that the decision to cancel the examinations should be reconsidered as UPSR and PT3 involved pyschometric and certification standards.

He said national examinations at such levels can be postponed like other public examinations but not cancelled.

“They maybe postponed like SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) and others, but not abolished altogether. Image the 2020 Cohort does not UPSR and PT3 certificates if compared with previous batches. It would give them a disadvantage later as they should have the same education certificates,” he added. - Bernama