KUALA LUMPUR: The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) is of the opinion that the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) part of the Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) syllabus should stay.
Its founding chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the new UPSR syllabus should focus on developing an understanding of concepts, thinking skills and application of knowledge to problem solving among students.
"These are qualities employers look for. HOTS is not new, it has existed in the syllabus but never given a name.
"These are the questions that are not straight forward and requires several processes before coming up with an answer," Noor Azimah told Bernama when contacted.
Asked whether HOTS had contributed to the high percentage of Standard Six student failure in the UPSR examination, Noor Azimah replied: "The question now is, are the teachers capable of guiding the students to tackle these HOTS?
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"Or, does the problem lie within these students? Are the students able to think critically?"
Thus, she said, had parents been following the education transformation, HOTS should come as no surprise and teachers too should have been more open to parents by conducting interactive sessions to keep them informed on the new syllabus.
"Education evolves and it cannot remain stagnant if we want to be ahead or at least on par with the world," Noor Azimah added.
However, a parent disagreed with the current syllabus stating it was a moment of distress to students as many were unprepared to answer the questions during the examination.
"I pity the students and teachers – they only had six months to adapt to the new syllabus before the UPSR. If they wanted to change to a new format, they should have done so earlier," said Zurin Adzimi, 36.
Zurin whose daughter scored 2As in UPSR, said the students were ill prepared to face questions based on the HOTS syllabus.
Another parent, Fara Zuliana Noh on the other hand, wants the syllabus to stay as she believed it helped students develop their critical thinking ability.
The 39-year-old, whose daughter Amelia Batrisya Zulkifli, 12, scored 6As in the UPSR said, "I did not agree to HOTS just because my child scored straight A's; I believe it would help in the child's future development," she said.
A total of 4,896 pupils scored straight A's under HOTS.
However, only 1.11 percent of the 440,782 pupils who sat for the examination held from Sept 1-8 this year, managed straight A's. -- Bernama