My brother is currently sitting for his SPM now. As I am his elder brother, I have obviously taken the exam before. There are good things about exams and bad things about exams. The good thing about exams is that students can see how well they have done in school. Some of us need the challenge to prove to others that we are competent and that we can do everything that the teachers throw at us.
The Pyramid. A good way to encourage students to study… I think… not.
Unfortunately, the importance of exams has been overly emphasized in Malaysia. The common belief here is that if you don’t get good results in public exams, you’ll fail in LIFE. Therefore students are pressured to do well and since our education system is not tailored to everybody’s needs, some of us might not do so well.
Those who don’t do so well will get mocked by friends, sometimes by teachers, and even parents. Most parents are very competitive about their children’s exam results so they might not be happy if their children didn’t do well for exams. Unhappy parents means unhappy students and therefore they are pressured to do even better.
It’s funny if you look back after SPM. You’ve just spent the last 17 years of your life preparing to sit for 10 papers which will determine your future. Sure, the knowledge you have gained is very important. You obviously need to know what 1+1 is and how gravity works. But exam results shouldn’t determine your future.
I’m writing this because I just came across this news article today:
Year Six pupil found hanged
Subashini: Had been crying since obtaining her UPSR results. – Bernama
Quote from the article:
(Quote)Recapping the events that led to her death, Sivakumar said his daughter, who studied at a Tamil primary school, had been disappointed that she had not obtained the expected results in the UPSR examination.
“She had been crying since obtaining her results on Thursday,” sobbed Sivakumar, who said his daughter was a hardworking and bright pupil.
“I do not know what went wrong,” he added, saying that while she was confident of scoring at least 4As in the examination, the results showed that Subashini had only obtained 4Bs, 2Cs and 1D. (Unquote) Full article here.
This is an example of a devastated childhood. Instead of enjoying life, playing without a care in the world, we’re forcing our children to study and get good grades in their exams. Parents may not even be forcing them, but they are being forced because getting good grades is a norm among our society. Not everyone is the studious type. Not everyone can get 17A1 for their SPM. I got B3 for my moral by the way but I don’t go around killing people or robbing banks or vandalizing public property. In short, our exams don’t show the true potential in a person.
I blame this purely on our education system. Enough with memorizing facts to pass exams. And lower the importance of exams on future employment. Someone could be having a bad day when he took his SPM and he’ll be ruined for the rest of his life because no one would hire someone who failed 3 of his papers.
I propose that our education system be based on an overall assessment of a student’s performance instead of completely relying on exams. Exams will still be part of the assessment but it won’t be so important. What we need is a system that will make students think instead of getting spoon fed everyday. And we need to learn how to solve problems as well so we’ll be ready for the real world when we’re done with school.
Anyways, good luck to all SPM-ers. You still need your good results to enter college. Continue reading