This year, I saw my girl's Bahasa Malaysia teacher during the Parents Teachers Conference. The reason I went to see him was because I was confused about the instructions for the UPSR Bahasa Malaysia Paper 2 Part C Nilai Murni questions. The questions always states "answer in NOT MORE THAN 40 words" (tidak lebih daripada 40 perkataan), it does not say "answer in ESTIMATED 40 words" (beri jawapan dalam lebih kurang 40 perkataan). However, most sample answers in reference books and even her BM teacher himself gives answers that exceeds the 40 words, sometimes the answers are up to 60 words. So I wanted to clarify this.
I did not immediately ask this question when I saw him letting him lead the discussion instead.
The first thing he said to me was "you must improve her tatabahasa (grammar) and start preparing her for UPSR next year. Don't think that you have a lot of time next year. Although UPSR is in September, you don't have 9 months next year to prepare. Actually, you only have 4-5 months because the beginning of the year is a honeymoon period for most kids. If you add curriculum hours and holidays, you end up with only 4-5 months."
His advice was to "know exactly how many questions will come out for each aspect of the tatabahasa" for example how many adjective questions, how many "kata kerja" questions, how many "penjodoh bilangan" questions etc. Then work on her weak areas. He told me that next year the kids will mostly be taught how to answer exam papers.
Finally, I got to ask my question and his answer was "just ignore the NOT MORE THAN 40 words" instructions. Even if marks were to be cancelled, it will be 1 mark at the most but this has never been done before." What is more important is your child must have the following 3 things when she answers her questions:
- Penanda Wacana