How seriously can we take the ‘achievements’ outlined in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013 Annual Report when the Ministry cannot even explain how PT3 will replace PMR starting this year?

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 23rd of June 2014

I would like to congratulate the Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to keeping to the promise outlined in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 that an annual report documenting the progress of the MEB will be published. The 2013 MEB Annual Report, prepared by the Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) in the Ministry of Education highlights many of the achievements accomplished in the first year of the MEB.[1]

Unfortunately, it is hard for me to take these achievements seriously when the Ministry cannot seem to get its act together on the much more fundamental issue – which is to explain to teachers, parents and students how PT3 (Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3) will replace PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah) for Form 3 students.

In an oral answer to parliament on the 18th of June, the Minister of Education, Datuk Seri Haji Idris Jusoh, explained that two circulars issued by the Ministry had been issued to explain PT3 and had been uploaded to the website of the Examinations Board (Lembaga Peperiksaan) – (Appendix 1). Unfortunately, this is what I obtained when I visited the LP website this morning at 1015am. I have been trying to access this website since last Thursday, 18th of June, without success.

I found an alternate website for the Examinations Board – – but when I clicked on the PMR link, this was what I found.

A circular dated 31st March 2014, issued by the Ministry, outlines in greater detail how PT3 will replace PMR.[2] There will no longer be a centralized exam and PMR will be replaced by school based exams that will be based on instruments and scores which will be standardized by the Examinations Board. The implementation guidelines of PT3 is supposed to be spelled out in detail on the website of the Examinations Board. But almost three months after the issuance of this circular and after the Minister referred to the Examinations Board’s website in his parliamentary reply, neither the guidelines nor the website is accessible.

Uncertainty over the implementation of PT3 prompted the Secretary General of the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) Lok Yim Pheng, on the 15th of June, to ask the Examinations Board to brief teachers to ensure the smooth implementation of PT3.[3]

If the teachers themselves have concerns over the implementation of PT3, I can only imagine how much more in the dark are parents who have children currently studying in Form 3. In a survey of low-income families conducted by the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), one of the main findings was the information gap between government plans and the information received by the poor. This information gap would definitely include plans to replace PMR with PT3 despite assurances by the Minister that representatives from all Parent Teacher’s Associations (or PIBGs) nationwide would be briefed on these changes.

If the Ministry cannot even get its act together to explain and implement something as basic as PT3, how much confidence can be put in the many ‘achievements’ listed in the MEB 2013 Annual Report?

Appendix 1: Parliamentary Reply by Dato Seri Haji Idris Jusoh on PT3 on the 18th of June 2014.


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