The revised School-Based Assessment (PBS) in Malaysian schools will reduce the workload of teachers at least by 70-80%, according to a report published in the Daily Express. In the earlier PBS system, the teachers had to perform tedious data entry tasks in addition to their teaching responsibilities. Urged by a group of teachers, the Ministry of Education took the decision to improve the student based assessment system. With the new system, teachers can record the students’ results when it is convenient and using their own methods, without having to collect data and put it online.
When it was introduced in 2011, the PBS was based on academic assessment and non-academic assessment such as physical activity, sports and co-curriculum, and psychometrics. It did away with rote learning and an exam-centric system, where student assessment is solely based on final examinations. The system also takes account of the points that students earn by performing project work, assignments, volunteering activities, and so on are taken into account.
Challenges of Former School-Based Assessment (PBS) System
- Difficulties of online data entry – filling online school applications, tabulation of assignments on a daily basis
- Teachers had to use a Standard Performance Document (DSP) to keep track of the students’ academic achievements, which involve the recording of large number of descriptors and evidence
- Teachers were also required to prepare a Student Development File and Transit Record, which took up a lot of their time
Revised School-Based Assessment (PBS) System
PBS still operates at school level but without the difficulties of copious paper work by teachers. The suggestions made to improve the PBS were as follows:
- PBS should focus on grading based on different percentages:
- Attendance – 5%
- Conduct – 5%
- Co-Curriculum – 20%
- Projects – 20%
- Monthly examinations – 20%
- Final Examinations – 30%
It was also suggested that the PBS should do away with bands while retaining the usual grading of ABCD & F.
In any case, teachers will no longer be burdened with student data capture and evidence of student work or school application data entry. Instead of updating student development file and transit records, the new system allows teachers to record student data at their own time and convenience.
Despite views that the new PBS system should be implemented only after conducting a pilot study, it was rolled out on April 1.
One area of concern that has yet addressed is the large number of students in a class. According to education experts, a small classroom size is a prerequisite for the success of a school-based assessment system, as practiced in countries like Canada. With a smaller class, teachers would get the chance to plan more meaningful student activities and give them a clear idea of how to attain higher standards of proficiency in the subjects they are being taught.