NUTP: Scrap UPSR (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has supported the Education Ministry's proposal to abolish the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Ren­dah (UPSR).

Its president, Kamarozaman Abd Razak, said the move was necessary to avoid pupils from being pressured into obtaining As based on a centralised examination alone, and that a school-based assessment was a more appropriate system.

He said the call by NUTP was also made after several quarters had questioned the quality of teachers in the country following the announcement that only 1.11% of students obtained straight As in UPSR this year.

"We don't agree with the perception that teachers should be blamed. And the pupils, on the other hand, should be exposed to their career paths, instead of being judged simply by their UPSR results," he told a press conference, yesterday, adding that the Malaysian Examination Board should disclose its method of grading the pupils' UPSR performance.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid had, on Oct 28, suggested to do away with UPSR in favour of school-based assessment, similar to that practised by developed countries.

Kamarozaman said the decision to support the proposal was made following a meeting with 73 NUTP exco members.

He said the exco members have yet to obtain feedback from other teachers under the union but maintained that the decision was shared by most parents following feedback from the past.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) also supported the call for a school based assessment system.

Its chairman, Noor Azimah Rahim, said that moving away from the current examination orientated system would enable pupils to develop other skills than just memorising.

She said parents currently object to abolishing UPSR because they think 'don't fix what is not broken'.

"Education is constantly evolving. We should look towards other countries and see what they are doing. Finland, for example, which has one of the best education systems in the world, is doing away with subjects. They believe play and interaction is the best way to go.

"We on the other hand are adding subjects!" she told theSun when contacted.