Malaysias government has taken a lot initiative to improve the quality in our education field. Therefore, Ministry of Education introduced School Based Assessment as a part of education system in our country starting grade 1 in 2012 and fully in 2014 for PMR students. School based assessment is an assessment which is implemented in the teaching and learning process. It has a lot of important characteristics which distinguish it from other common forms of assessment that the students usually use in the classroom. Nowadays, many parties such as policymaker and educators mentioned SBA could be a catalyst in Malaysia’s education reform. Actually, without we conscious, the school based assessment already implemented in our classroom since the late 1990s and the beginning of year 2000. . School based assessment is seen as an alternative ways to help the teachers to find out the progress and also the understanding of their students in their learning. According to our former Malaysian Minister of Education, Tan Sri Musa Mohamed on May 7, 2003, he said that the objective of implementing the school based assessment is to make our educational system less exam-oriented. Thus, by implementing SBA in our classrooms, it would be a better option in assess the students’ abilities. Unfortunately, there are only a few research to investigate either the school based assessment could give a big hit in student’s achievement or not. Therefore, this report was written to discuss about the SBA in many aspects that could opened up our mind about this policy.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study is to identify the aspects that are associated with School Based Assessment in Malaysia’s education system:
To identify what is School-Based Assessment system
To determine the factors of School-Based Assessment was implemented in education system
To clarify the issues in School-Based Assessment
To determine the advantages of implementation of School-Based Assessment
To determine the recommendation in improving School-Based Assessment
CHAPTER 2: DISCUSSION ON ISSUES
2.1 What is School-Based Assessment (SBA)
Previously, the method to assess the students’ ability is through the examinations. But, to improve and ensure that the quality of education is better than before, the proper assessments are needed along with the effective syllabus in our education system. Therefore, the government came out with the SBA system to the school across the country in order to make changes with the existing system that depends solely on examination. With the implementing of school-based assessment system, the promotion of the students into next class level will not only depend solely on examination but they also need to do well in their performances throughout the years and also their personal developments. School-based assessment is a system that implemented in a teaching and also learning, therefore it highly involved with teachers and students. Thus, through SBA, students could develop their social skills such as leadership, tolerance, cooperative attitude and oral presentation that included in that assessment system. Hence, public examination and school based assessments had great importance to the school, teachers, students and country.
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There are a lot of characteristics of SBA that could distinguish it from external examination that student taken in every year. In SBA, the involvement of teachers in learning is very important and it will start from beginning to the end of lesson which is from planning the assessment, developing the assessment task until making the assessment judgments. Normally, SBA will be carried out in ordinary classrooms and not in examination hall. Contrary with examination, SBA will conducted by their own teachers and it involve students to become more actively in the lesson while in examination, it will be judge by others teachers and teachers become more active than students in the classrooms. In school-based assessment also, teacher can modify the assessment in order to synchronize with the learning and lesson in the classroom as well as in assessing the students’ abilities. Through SBA, the teachers can assess their student’s abilities in various aspects and it did not solely depend on the examination’s grade which is sometimes did not have reliability and validity to the actual abilities of their students.
2.2 Factors in implementation of School Based Assessment
School-Based Assessment (SBA) is seen as catalyst for education system in our country. Nowadays, SBA policy caught attention from the policymaker and educators. Many parties asked why we need to change our education system policies. The primary factor why the school-based assessment was implemented in Malaysian’s education system by our government is to abolish the exam-based education and as well as to ensure that no students get left behind or drop out from the learning in school. As we know, such method of assessment already became current practices in other countries such as in United State, Britain, Germany, Japan, Finland and New Zealand. Therefore, by applying the SBA policy, our system might not be very different from other countries that already implemented with school-based assessment. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told the Dewan Rakyat when winding up debate on the 10th Malaysia Plan that “the current education system in term of how teachers teach and how students study will not affected by the school-based assessment policy”. The concern when SBA will apply is how to evaluate the student’s achievement either through public examination or assessments.
According to the Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, reducing the public examination would actually save the government money in aspects of management, human resource and the burden of teachers to carry out such examination process. Thus, by applying the SBA system, the government does not want to see the children focusing more on exam rather than understanding the meaning of lesson. Depending only on the result of public examination may not always provide the reliable indication on the actual abilities of the students. The reason could be many students tend to memorize the lesson in order to sit for the examination. Although this means that the teachers are naturally expected to contribute more in involving themselves in learning as well as in the designing the tests and exam, but the school could develop the students are more qualities and expected to have several of skills that the country needed. Therefore, learning is not just viewed as providing students with opportunities and increasing their chances of individual success, but as an integrated system in a holistic education (Torrance, H. and Pryor, J.1998:1)
Besides that, the side factors that could contribute in implementation of SBA are to promote the positive impact on teaching and learning. For the students, it can serve to motive the students by engaging them in meaningful activities either inside or outside the classroom. Meanwhile for the teacher, it could reinforce the curriculum aims and good teaching practice by involving them in learning.
2.3 Issues in School Based Assessment
A lot of opinion and expectation was given from many parties when the government wants to implement the school-based assessment policy in education system. There are some issues regarding the school-based assessment that always being talked by many people when the SBA becomes a part of education system. First issue is about the issue of fairness among teachers in grading their students’ scores. As we know, in school-based assessment policy the role of teacher in assessing their students is vital thus the reliability and validity in assessing student’s performance cannot be constant and could be disputed. Different teacher and schools have their own preference in assessing the students even though the guideline already been given for them. But, according to Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said that, the ministry would ensure the quality of the students would be maintained while the syllabus was not too exam oriented. He added that, the questionnaire standard and the quality of marking by the teachers while assessing their student’s performances will be monitor by the Malaysia Examination Board.
The second issue in school-based assessment is the issue of training among teacher for them to integrate with the school-based assessments system. The issue of lack training is quite similar with what experienced by other country that already implemented SBA in their education system such as in United State of America. Some teachers they have limited skills in collecting and using the classroom assessment’s information to improve their student’s learning. In other hand, some teachers they did not know how to interpret with test score, conducting item analysis and etcetera. Although they admitted that they familiar with certain calculation such as mean and standard deviation but most of them had forgotten their functions and ways to use it. Thus, if the teachers possess a limited knowledge in assessment, they might not be able to improve the student’s learning even though they implementing the school-based assessment.
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Even though teachers in our country aware about the importance of school based assessment, but they emphasized about the time constraints and a heavy teaching load that they need to carry when this concept of assessment is implemented in classroom as a culprits in its effectiveness implementation. Besides that, other issue is in form of the burden that the teacher needs to carry especially in creating the assessment strategies. As what we already know, this concept of assessment requires a lot of creativity on the side of the teachers. Thus, the changes in the roles of teachers and learner lie with the teachers as a facilitator of learning. Thus, the teachers need to be a creative thinker in order to assess their student’s abilities.
2.3 Advantages of School-Based Assessment
The benefits of SBA that is could enhance the students’ abilities and performance as well as could enhance the innovation of students. Because of our educational system is too reliance with the examination in order to assess the student’s performance and abilities or too exam-oriented, our teacher and also the students just come to school in a mission to attend the examination. Thus, they learn to memorize and recite the topic without have knowing the meaning of the topic. Hence, their ability is just in memorizing the facts and not has abilities to understand and relate the topic with the real world. Thus, when the school based assessment is implemented in schools, the students cannot just reliance and depend with the examination in order to assess their abilities and performance, but they also need to excel in other assessment like portfolios, projects, peer and self assessment.
Besides that, SBA could provide a more comprehensive assessment on students’ overall performance and it includes both a formative and summative assessment component. Formative assessments involves the collection of evidence about the progress being made by students and using this evidence as the feedback to improve teaching and learning. Thus, it could inform both teachers and students about their understanding about the learning at a point in which adjustment of time could be made by teacher and students. Example of formative assessment that the teachers and students usually used are practice presentations, discussion and peer evaluations.
Furthermore, the teachers in this study also conscious about the importance of SBA in encouraging classroom assessment to be on-going process. By applying this concept of assessment, the teachers feel that the learning become more meaningful to the students because the students can get the feedback immediately either their performance is excellent or not. Thus, it could improve the learning because the teacher could have interaction to the teacher. Compared to what we practice nowadays, the students can get the feedback after the teachers conducted the test or examination. Therefore, the students did not have opportunity to have interaction between the assessors in discussing their weakness in that subject.
CHAPTER 3: Recommnedation and Conclusion
School based assessment could give a lot of benefits to the parties that involved with it but there are a number of existing problems in school based assessment that have need to address as soon as possible. If these problems could be reduced, then the implementation of school based assessment could give a big hit to educational field. Thus, given below are some of recommendations that I feel it will bring more effective implementation of the school based assessment.
First recommendation is the form of training in SBA. Majority of teachers felt that they have lacked in knowledge and exposure of the SBA. Sometimes, the teacher did not know how to play their role in school based assessment and how to be fair during assessing student’s abilities and performance. Thus, the teachers required the effective training in the form of briefings about the SBA, courses and also the workshops. Besides that, even though the teacher already went to training, but they might felt that, the exposure that offered by the training center was insufficient and did not cover all the matters that they need when they teach in the classroom. Even though the Ministry of Education providing them with the booklet about teaching strategies and objectives, but sometimes it is not come out with the good idea like what was expected. Hence, the intensive training should be carried out to help the teacher getting the exposure about the SBA.
Second recommendation is give an effective monitoring and feedback toward the teachers. Many of the teachers that have lacked in the knowledge of SBA required the effective feedback and monitoring from the Head of Department. This feedback and monitoring could provide them help in improving their teaching as well as in integrating with the SBA. Hence, the step needs to be taken by the school to train their principal or Head of Department in monitoring their teachers with regard to school based assessment. The effectiveness monitoring that was provided by the school could help the teacher to teach and assess their student in track and not beyond their mind.
The third recommendation is reduce the teacher workload and the number of students in a class. Many of teachers complained about the time constraint and also the workload. If the number of students huge in a class, the teacher required a lot of time to work with the projects, cards and report book in assessing the student’s performance and anilities. The reduction in teacher workload and the number of student’s enrolment can be an effective step to ensure that the implementation of SBA could bring success.
Implementation of SBA could bring a big hit to many parties that involved with it as long as such problem could be reduced. Perhaps what is needed is a concerted effort and cooperation from all parties concerned.
Nowadays, School-Based Assessment (SBA) is a part of education system in our country. The mission of Ministry of Education by implementing the SBA is to abolish the greater reliance of students and teachers toward the public examination while assessing their abilities. Even though there existing some issues regarding the system, but we must looked out at good effect of SBA in terms to enhance the students social skills as well as to develop the high quality of person that really able to contribute toward the society, religion and country as well. Many parties asked why the system is not implemented since a long time ago if the government knows the important of school-based assessment toward education field. According to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the reason is because the government needs to carry out some research regarding the issues that will cause school-based assessment failed to be implementing in school.
Through school-based assessment, students will be able to get involved in meaningful activities that could encourage them to be more confidence while facing the task that was prepared by their teachers. In our country, we needs some shifting in how the students will be assess because many others country already abolish the dependence solely on examination while determine their student’s abilities in academic performance. Even though the new system have their own weaknesses but the problem could be reduced if all parties give their support and playing their own role until the system could achieve the level that we need.
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