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Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Back To School Under the New Normal

Image may contain: 1 person, suit
Today 1st July 2020, The Menteri Kanan Pendidikan Dr. Radzi Jidin addressed the nation in a live telecast. Below is a brief summary of the press conference.

Back to School Under the New Normal
Students are to return to school under the following schedule.

15th July 2020

Standard 5 & 6
Form 1 - Form 4

22nd July 2020

Standard 1 - Standard 4

Schools will apply the following models for back to school depending on the school's capacity.

Model 1 = All students return to school at the same time (for small schools with enough capacity to practice social distancing)

Model 2 = Observe dual or two sessions (for schools which are unable to accommodate all students)

Model 3 = Rotation system (for large schools which cannot apply Models 1 or 2) *

* Schools doing the rotation system will have a hybrid system of lessons in classrooms + online learning.
MOE (Ministry of Education) will list down the school and the type of models to be applied by the school one week before school reopens.

Tuition centres registered with KPM may start operating with effect from 15th July 2020.

SOP during Recess
School recess and canteen must have the following SOP in place.

1. Social Distancing must be followed
2. Food must be packed

Students are encouraged to bring food from home. Schools may have staggered recess. In some schools, students can buy packed food from canteen and return to their classrooms to have their meal. In others, pre-ordered food will be sent to the classroom. Either method is fine as long as the two SOP listed above are followed ie social distancing and packing of food is observed.

What about the school holidays?

Recently the MOE amended the school calendar. Below is the new amended school calendar for 2020. The mid term school holidays is expected to be from 20th August to 24th August 2020. 





Is It Safe To Return To School?
Let's have a look at the Covid 19 statistics in Malaysia for 1st July 2020.

Recovered = 21 cases
New Positive Cases = 1 (1 imported case and 0 local transmission case)
No of deaths = 0
No of cases in ICU = 4
No of cases requiring ventilator = 2

While the numbers look promising, we must not let down our guard. We need to continue to be vigilant to fight against Covid 19 so long as a vaccine has not yet been found and world infection numbers are still rising.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

10 Things You Need To Know About The Cancellation of UPSR, PT3 and Postponement of SPM 2020



Today Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin announced the cancellation of UPSR, PT3 and postponement of SPM 2020 to early 2021. Here's what parents need to know for now.

1. School sessions will be postponed until we are more certain of a recovery situation

2. School reopening will be announced 2 weeks beforehand.

3. For now, school reopening will only involve examination classes SPM, SVM, STPM, STAM and other equivalent overseas exams.

4. Teachers, parents and students are to follow SOPs on safety, cleanliness and social distancing when school reopens

5. SPM,  SVM and STAM will be postponed to the first quarter of 2021

6. STPM Semester 2 will be rescheduled to August 2020 whereas Semester 3 will be held on the first quarter of 2021.

7. New intakes for institutes of higher education including Asasi, Matrikulasi and diploma programmes will be postponed to July or August 2021. Degree programmes will be postponed to September or October 2021.

Update: In a Press Release dated 16 April 2020, the ministry further explained that the postponement of intakes are for those taking SPM 2020 whereas intake dates for those who took SPM in 2019 will proceed as planed. (Refer to press release at the end of this page)

8. UPSR and PT3 2020 will be cancelled.

9. Progression to Secondary School: With the cancellation of UPSR, the MOE will introduce a new method of assessment (which is not solely focused on academic performance alone) for admission to full boarding schools (SBP), Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama (SMKA), Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) and Royal Military College (RMC),

10. Progression to Upper Secondary: With the cancellation of PT3, a new method will be introduced to assess students for upper secondary school. Results from this assessment will be used as one of the criteria for admission to specific schools such as full-boarding or technical schools.

We did a quick poll on this and at this time of writing, 345 parents voted in agreement of this move with 30 dissenting.

For full details, please refer to the press statement from the Ministry of Education, Malaysia below or visit the official site:

Ministry of Education Malaysia official website
Ministry of Education Malaysia Facebook Page
Ministry of Education Malaysia Twitter






Saturday, April 11, 2020

Free Children's Book to Explain about COVID-19 in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese

The Movement Order Control in Malaysia has just been extended another 2 weeks to 28 April 2020. That means children will be home for another 2 weeks. They will be restless and some of them may be confused. It is not easy to explain something that you cannot see with the eye to children. What is COVID-19? Why do we have to #stayathome ? Why can't we go to see grandpa/grandma?

Children can feel anxious especially if they overhear their parents talk about the daily statistics on the number of cases as well as the demise of more people due to it.



The World Health Organization in collaboration with more than 50 organizations including the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children and more has come up with a book to explain COVID-19 to children.

This book has been translated into many languages including English, Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia, to reach as many children as possible including

Entitled "My Hero Is You", the book talks about hand washing, staying at home, social distancing etc in simple terms to help children understand the current situation with the help of a fantasy creature called Ario.

This book is suitable for kids from age 6-11 years old.

It is written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, who together with her project team drew on the sharing from 1700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from all over the world to make sure that the story and its messages are relevant to children from different backgrounds.

Download links (The book is free to download)

My Hero Is You (English version)
Engkaulah Adiwiraku (Bahasa Malaysia Version)
你是我心中的英雄 (Chinese Version)

Interestingly, the Bahasa Malaysia translation is translated by Dr Feisul Idzwan Mustapha from our own Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia or Ministry of Health Malaysia. :-)

Below is the audio version, a public reading by Howard Donald. You can put this on together with your book for kids to listen and read at the same time. Howard Donald is an English singer, songwriter, drummer, pianist, dancer and record producer. He is a member of English pop-group Take That and a judge on the German reality talent show Got to Dance.







Thursday, March 12, 2020

8 Ways To Encourage Children To Read

How do I encourage my child to pick up a book to read and continue reading? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by parents. When you give a child a book, it is a gift. When you teach a child to love reading that book, you give the child a gift for life.



Here are 8 Ways to Encourage Children To Read

1. Use Graded Readers

These are readers that progress in levels. New words and complexity of grammar structures increases as children. move from one level to another. Graded readers features a systematic ‘levelled reading’ approach with incremental vocabulary coverage, careful language recycling and increasing text complexity. Children become more confident as they recognize books found in the earlier series. The confidence that comes from being able to read independently encourages them to keep on reading and discover new words. Children should be encouraged to read books that are within their level of reading comprehension. Too low a level makes them bored while too high a level makes them frustrated and give up. Select books with tiers, levels or bands because these graded readers are written according to children's age and reading level in mind.

2. Read Stories that Children can Relate to


Children are like sponges, absorbing all information around them. They are curious beings. Stories that they can relate to will capture their attention and interest and make them want to continue reading. While there are a wide array of stories from the west, stories rich in Asian culture are also a good way to teach children about the different local cultures because it stirs their natural curiosity.

3. Design Matters - Read Books with Interesting Illustration

Books with colourful illustration and design attract young readers to pick up a book to read. They say pictures speak a thousand words. Words along with pictures tell a compelling story that makes you want to continue reading.

4. Read Different Genre Storybooks

We can broaden the horizon of the young reader and encourage them to read by introducing to them interesting stories across different genres including real-life fiction, adventure stories, traditional tales and non-fiction. Children will learn that reading can take them into a different world, time or place when they imagine the stories that they read taking place.

5. Let Your Child Choose What They Want To Read

While it may be tempting to select all your child’s reading material based on what you think is good for them, it is good to let them choose what they want to read occasionally. Perhaps they may need you to guide them along, allowing them to choose what they want to read will motivate them to pick up that book to read at home. You never know, they might find gems you didn’t plan to pick up. Set up a cozy reading book or mini home library for them to read books they had a hand in picking.

6. Read Books That Encourage Children to Think

Some books have guided questions at the end of the book or supplementary projects and activities. All of these help to facilitate value reflection and critical thinking development in readers. Parents can ask children questions or do projects together with children which encourages parent child bonding and further interest in the books read.

7. Read Stories with Themes


Popular thematic stories about festivals, families, food, animals, transportation etc educate as well as inform. For example, kids may be interested to read about the New Year as the New Year approaches making it something to look forward to and talk about.

8. Read Together and Read Often

Read to your child, or together with your child to encourage them to read. Bring them to bookshops, libraries and book exhibitions to open up the world of books and reading to them. Read often and discuss what you read with your child. Don't look at your mobile while your child is reading. Pick up something and read as they are reading. This will encourage them to read instead of playing with their phones too.

This post was brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia.

Introducing Oxford Fajar Dragonfly Readers



Dragonfly Readers is a new print series by Oxford Fajar. It is designed for the 21st century reader to support the development of reading comprehension skills, featuring: 
  • 204 beautifully-illustrated stores and non-fiction texts by Asian authors and artists
  • Asian culture, themes and values infused in the series 
  • Culture and vocabulary pages, supplementary projects and activities 
  • Clear learner progression, based on Oxford Levels and aligned to CEFR 
The Dragonfly Readers is based on a levelling* system with 
  • 9 tiered-levelling, each level denoted by a number and colour 
  • 6 bands per level; each band offers 3-4 theme-linked reading texts within a printed anthology
  • Each reading text introduces a set of topic-related new words with practice and support materials 
  • A transparent vocabulary structure, with each reading text presenting new topic-related words and carefully recycling previously learnt new words 
  • Text complexity gradually increases through the bands, so learners incrementally gain comprehension skills and reading fluency as they advance through the levels 

The Dragonfly Readers is available for purchase online here.

*Dragonfly readers is currently available up to Level 3. Stay tuned for the higher levels coming soon.

Oxford Big Read 

The Oxford Big Read is an English reading programme and competition for primary school students in Malaysia. Students who participate in the competition will be required to read Oxford Readers and do different age-wise activities based on their levels.

The competition is open to all schools in Malaysia, and features attractive prizes for students and their schools.

Click here to find out more.


Friday, February 14, 2020

CEFR Parallel Assessments in PT3, UPSR and SPM

Last year (2019), PT3 students received grading on their English language proficiency using CEFR standards. Many parents were confused because they did not know about the adoption of CEFR in Malaysia. They also did not understand the grading under CEFR.

What is CEFR and Adoption of CEFR in Malaysia


CEFR is the Common European Framework for Languages. It is an international standard for describing language ability and is used in many countries. CEFR is widely accepted by many countries as an international framework for language teaching, learning and assessment.

Malaysia adopted CEFR under the Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013 - 2025) and Roadmap for English Language Education Reform (2015 - 2025).

With a common framework ie the CEFR,  teachers or learners, employers and educational institutions can see and compare the level of English qualifications of one learner with another. A learner who receives the same grade under the CEFR is similarly qualified irrespective of which school or country they are from.

Implementation of CEFR- aligned curriculum for Malaysian schools
The CEFR-aligned curriculum for both SK and SJK is implemented in stages, beginning with Years l and 2 in 2018. Under this new curriculum, Listening and Speaking are treated as separate skills instead of combined as in the past, and all five language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing and Language Arts) are developed based on the CEFR. Phonics is covered separately.

The CEFR-aligned curriculum for Malaysian secondary schools is implemented in stages, beginning with Forms 1 and 2 in 2018. Under this new curriculum, Listening and Speaking are treated as separate skills instead of combined as in the past, and all four language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) are developed based on the CEFR proficiency levels. Grammar (taught in Language Awareness lessons) and vocabulary are integrated in lessons focusing on the four skills as well as Literature in Action.

CEFR Grading

CEFR describes language ability on a six point scale, from A1 for beginners up to C2 for those who have mastered the language.

Levels:
Pre-A1, A1, A2 = Basic User
B1, B2 = Independent User
C1, C2 = Proficient User

Go to this link to view the CEFR Global Scale with details of each level and what it means.

Parallel Assessments in PT3, UPSR and SPM

The first parallel assessment of Common European Framework of Reference For Language (CEFR) was implemented at the Form Three Assessment (PT3) examination level for the English Language paper in 2019. (Note that students need not sit for an extra exam paper. They are merely assessed twice for the same English paper they sat for.)

Parallel assessment of the English Language paper would be implemented for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) in 2021 and Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) in 2022.

"Although the highest grade was C2, equivalent to the proficiency of an English native speaker, PT3 questions were set at B1 level. SPM, would start with the new CEFR format in 2021 with the hope that students would have acquired at least the B1 level. UPSR would follow suit in 2022 with A2 set as the highest grade."  (Ref: First CEFR assessment via PT3 english paper)

Using CEFR aligned books

Parents and educators should use CEFR aligned books as teaching material to guide students and prepare them for their examinations. When buying specific English Language Teaching books, parents and teachers should look out for “CEFR-aligned curriculum”.

 

This post was brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia. Oxford Fajar has a range of ELT (English Language Teaching) books that are CEFR aligned. Oxford Fajar is a subsidiary of Oxford University Press, the world's leading authority on the English Language. Every year more than 33 million students use Oxford materials to learn English.  

References:


Facebook Giveaway

5 readers stand a chance to win Oxford Fajar English Language Activity Books for their children. Join our Facebook Giveaway. Join Now!

Friday, February 07, 2020

Preparing your child with 21st century learning (PAK-21)

Parents, have you noticed that the kids are doing more projects at school nowadays? This is because schools are now embracing 21st Century Learning.

What is 21st century learning (PAK21) in Malaysian schools context?

21st Century Learning, or Pembelajaran Abad ke-21 (PAK21), refers to the MOE’s initiative which champions a student-centred learning process that is steered by five elements of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and values and ethics (4C1V).  PAK21, which was formulated in the second wave of Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, has been ongoing for three years.

Five Elements of Communication (4C1V)
  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Creativity
  5. Values and ethics

As parents we need to understand this initiative so that we can guide and support our children

Teachers are bringing appropriate 21st century (PAK-21) activities to the classroom. Activities that are designed with the 4Cs in mind, take into account that students are practicing communication and collaboration with their peers and teachers in school, and through that they are tasked to think critically.

As an example in Year 6, Science, Chapter 5; the child is learning about ‘The Importance of Keeping a Balanced Ecosystem’. The activity suggestion below acts as a guide to teachers and is taken from Oxford Fajar’s Zoom series.

Oxford Fajar’s Zoom series, both student and teacher edition

Source: Page 39, Zoom Sains Tahun 6 SK 19/20 Panduan Guru


How can we help our kids embrace 21st Century Learning (PAK-21)?

21st Century Learning encourages students to be digitally savvy, be globally aware and engaged as 21st century citizens.
Below are some ways we can help our kids embrace 21st Century Learning.

1. Exposure. One of the ways we can help our children become more globally aware is to talk to them about things that are happening around the world. Read the papers or online news together with them and discuss.

2. Safety. Another very important aspect about 21st Century Learning is the digital aspect. As kids become more digitally savvy,  parents need to educate kids about how to be a responsible digital citizen. As a responsible digital citizen, one must know how to use technology appropriately and operate online safely and knowledgeably. 

3. Culture - As internet opens up borders worldwide, we must teach our kids to be more culturally aware by being more knowledgeable about other cultures and languages. The best time to do this is during the primary school years.

4. Support - As parents we should be aware about what kinds of activities the school is doing to expose the kids to 21st Century Learning. We can help the children by guiding them at home with the given projects and activities. The keyword is guiding and supporting and not doing it for them. 

5. Co-curricular Activities - We can also help our children embrace 21st Century Learning by choosing after school activities or extra co-curricular activities that support 21st Century Learning, eg, Coding programs, Public Speaking, Digital art or other activities that encourage team work, communication, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking.

Parents and schools working together will help our children transition into 21st Century Learning smoothly. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Education Going Digital - Are you keeping up?



We are currently seeing a digital transformation in education. Just like every other aspect of life that is going digital, education is also being digitalized.

When classrooms go digital, students receive so much more exposure in the form of e-textbooks with multimedia content such as videos, audios, interactive presentations or quizzes and hyperlinks that lead you to more information on the subject being studied.

Are we keeping up with digitalization in education?

Digital products and companion websites offer students additional access to content on the go

Recognizing a need to incorporate print and digital resources, Oxford Fajar has in its key print series provided additional ready-to-use learning and teaching resources as a value-add in their product offering.

The resources such as videos and website links help students deepen their understanding of certain topics, additional exercises, and audio files for listening components in English and Malay language. These resources are developed to complement Oxford Fajar titles and are tailored closely to each specific title. Students will find this beneficial as all its contents are aligned to the latest syllabuses.

This provides students the tools to take guided control of their learning.

Look out for CW logo (Companion Website Logo) in your Oxford Fajar print books and explore the companion resources.



Other than print books, Oxford Fajar also has interactive ebooks and apps which allow students to study on the go.

Below are some of the digital products being offered by Oxford Fajar.





Fully Worked Solutions ebook for SPM, STPM and Matriculation students - includes step-by-step workings and examples to introduce concepts, build understanding and help students explore subjects like mathematics and science in a more fun and interactive way.

Memory Booster Plus app - effective digital study cards for SPM students for quick revision on the go

Have you tried using digital resources before? Oxford Fajar is offering 50% off on Memory Booster App on Google Play Store starting today! Additionally, all  Mumsgather followers get a 50% discount with the discount code MUMSGATHER50 on Oxford Fajar’s e-learning site. First come first serve limited to the first 100 buyers. Key in the discount code upon checkout when purchasing Oxford Fajar's Digital Solution Books. This discount code is valid till 31 March 2020.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Assessments books focusing on HOTS questions for 21st Century Learning



2020. The start of a new decade. We have been moving away from rote learning to self-directed learning of the 21st century. Schools and teachers have been talking about creative thinking and more and more exam questions are based on HOTS questions or KBAT (in Malay). As parents we have to keep ourselves abreast with what our children are learning at school in order to guide them.

What is HOTS/KBAT?


The acronym HOTS stands for High Order Thinking Skills. KBAT is the Malay equivalent which is "Kemahiran Berfikir Aras Tinggi"


HOTS is based on various taxonomies of learning, and in particularly the 1956 book by Benjamin Bloom the "Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals." 

Bloom’s Taxonomy was designed with six levels to promote higher order thinking. The six levels are- knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.  Bloom’s aim was to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating, instead of just teaching students to remember and regurgitate facts (rote learning). 



It is important for educators to guide the thinking process starting from kindergarten so that students can progress from LOTS (Lower Order Thinking Skills) to HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills).

The aim is to help students progress from remembering (gathering information) to understanding (confirming the information gathered), to applying (making use of knowledge), to analyzing (taking information apart) and finally evaluating (judging the outcome).

How Parents Can Help

If students use higher-order thinking skills and practice problem solving regularly, then thinking will become a habit!

“Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.” – The Critical Thinking Community (2015)

Parents can help their children practice HOTS till it becomes a habit. Parents, especially those with kids from P1 to P3 who are worried about not knowing how their children are progressing can help their children practice by using assessment books focusing on these types of HOTS questions being asked in today's school exam papers based on our National curriculum.

HOTS Practice Books by Oxford Fajar

At Oxford Fajar, Topical Practice Books are designed to enable students to grasp key points  from each topic with HOTS questions and answers.

Primary school titles include, Drill In, Smart Practice and Effective Practice for both SK and SJK.
Let’s Practice Series for DLP schools – Let’s Practice is the series where Maths and Science subjects are taught in English in Schools under the  DLP programme. (DLP = Dual Language Programme where Math and Science are taught in English in participating schools).


Secondary school titles include Drill In, Smart Practice, Effective Practice and Big Ideas

 


Model Test Papers on the other hand are designed for students to prepare for their examinations. The exercises are modelled after actual examination format and are crafted according to the requirements and learning objectives of the national curriculum. Students, parents or teachers can use these test papers to evaluate in preparation for exams which are moving towards HOTS and away from LOTS. Students need frequent practice to embrace this change and make it a habit.

It is important to get relevant and high quality workbooks from trusted publishers because there are many types out there however they may not be valid to the current syllabus.

There is Score In and Achieve for all major exams (UPSR, PT3 & SPM). For non major exam years there is Get Ahead or Exam Prep titles





Why HOTS is Good for Students

With HOTS or critical thinking skills students who are talented in many areas have the opportunity to discover these talents. Unlike the previous rote learning models, students with broader interests are encouraged and rewarded.

In today's open society created by advanced digital technology, innovation and creativity is the key towards success. The ability to think critically and creatively, to collaborate with others, and to communicate clearly sets students up for success in their careers and in life.

This post was brought to you by Oxford Fajar Malaysia.

Facebook Giveaway

5 Lucky winners stand a chance to win a set each of Practice Workbooks tailored for their child's level. Join giveaway here.



Monday, January 06, 2020

Digital Textbooks For SK, SJKC, SJKT and SMK for Std 1 to Form 5


I find that one of the things that frustrates parents the most is the lack of information. For example, some parents may know that there are some digital textbooks available somewhere online for SK, SJKC, SJKT and SMK for Std 1 to Form 5 but just where are the download links, few have an idea.

Previously, I did write about the download links for free etextbooks for primary and secondary school. I wrote this in March 2019, now not even a year on, and the links are no longer working.
This is what is so frustrating. The lack of proper dissemination of information to whom it matters, parents, students and teachers.

Perhaps the teachers know it and have passed the information on to the students. I have no idea but as a parent, I have to search very hard in order to find the information I need.

Anyway some of these links have been shared by parents in our group because they received it through whatsapp messages. I am putting them all together here for parents to easily find and access the links to these etextbooks.

The links are for digital textbooks for Std 1 to Form 5 for SK, SJKC, SJKT and SMK or SMJK.
Note that some of the books lists are incomplete.

Std 1 to Std 6 Digital Textbooks download link https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/19Sdzd7n4qwBV4aaRdNZmDWBTHd3xK8sN

Std 1 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tahun 1 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1c1B0CJ_tZETMsYG7BvOdoBASFhxzKxNZ

Std 2 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tahun 2 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V1Mu1Da_I6pkI_xXvts-vF7i519wpo3X

Std 3 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tahun 3 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YD0zU7pbplYWKVnpOhzkfKA592K08Dpe

Std 4 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tahun 4 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sRTQMVW3O9gTkWRelsNwe0MxqGKQ5Cr7

Std 5 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tahun 5 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wZSVxoLc6ieTZ3bXowS1BezPFJfeeOcl

Std 6 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tahun 6 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1H81PnAehEV_wmDwS52heeFLcUBg6HnSj


Form 1 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tingkatan 1 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mGwDaFQ5V140nYO0Di46Y2Yg_1HVl8jo

Form 2 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tingkatan 2 -  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UKJAG_uI4oiMR-U1_ITuURCFpr1n5QDd

Form 3 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tingkatan 3 -  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rkG6PFTaxxTBLesejbPImNnoCtfApoj0

Form 4 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tingkatan 4 -  https://drive.google.com/open?id=17kgQm6CFA7QR4xgTro_7a7TGLv55ck_o

Form 5 etextbooks download link:
BTDA Tingkatan 5 -  https://drive.google.com/open?id=16iHry-5EYHG01Pou4wk5FIfJErGaZ-rj


Friday, January 03, 2020

My thoughts on PT3, DLP, KSSM and Form 4 streaming




I have received a lot of private messages from parents as well as questions raised in the comments sections on our Malaysia Secondary School Parents Group on Facebook. Though I try my best to, sometimes I may miss out replying to some of these messages so I shall attempt to address some of the issues or questions raised in this post.
Firstly, the picture shows the Form 4 books for 2020 for a Science stream student. Well, there isn't supposed to be anymore streaming, but rather one can select "packages" to decide on the subjects one would like to take in Form 4. Reading into some of the comments in our group, it would seem that the packages are not easy to implement. Implementation is never easy. There's the problem of logistics and availability of teachers and classrooms and scheduling and all that. We won't go into that because that is not the purpose of this post. Anyway, we decided to take the safest route by selecting pure sciences to have more options for tertiary studies later on. Now back to the textbooks. Here are some things one can note just by looking at the textbooks. 1. DLP - Dual Language Programme

If you are doing DLP and in science stream. Most of what you will be sitting for in SPM is in English (see the top half of books, they are all in English, Math, Add Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English with the literature components (the four little books at the top right corner). This is good for those who is more comfortable speaking in English. It really helps. If your child is one of those, you should try your best to get into a DLP school. Note that not all schools run DLP school wide. Some open one or two classes, so you have to make sure you ask about the criteria of getting into those classes. Just because the school you are applying to is a DLP approved school does not necessarily mean your child will automatically get to do Math and Science in English unless the school is running it school wide. Note that, Arts stream students will be doing less subjects in English. The bottom half are those in BM including BM and the BM literature books (KOMSAS or Komponent Sastera), Sejarah, Moral and PJPK. PJPK is not tested in SPM. We also have Chinese but those not doing Chinese won't need that.

2. KSSM subjects: Asas Sains Komputer (ASK) and Rekabentuk dan Teknologi (RBT) This is another frequently asked question mainly by parents with children going into Form 1 in secondary school. The two subjects ASK and RBT are new subjects under the KSSM syllabus. Note that some schools offer students a choice to select either one of the two whereas some offer only one choice so you need to check with your school. Whichever it may be, once you start in Form 1, you carry on learning the subject till Form 3. It looks like ASK or RBT subjects are learned from Form 1 to Form 3 since there is no textbook for this in Form 4 as shown above. 3. PT3 This is another frequently asked question. Students from last year, 2019 will tell you that they are the first and final batch for PT3 changes. They are the first batch to do PT3 with a new structure and they are the last batch to do PT3 as a centralised exam. To answer some of the questions from parents, there will still be PT3 in 2020. However, it is no longer a centralised exam like UPSR or SPM. It will be a fully school based exam just like the mid term or year end examinations. There have been some sharing on social media on PT3 exam dates. Do not let that confuse you. Even if the dates were set to be the same for all schools, the exams is not a centralized one going forth starting from this year 2020. I also received some questions on how to study for PT3. Well, here are a few quick tips. Quick Tips for PT3 - Consistent study is necessary so instill a study habit in students early - When it comes to Science, one must be very specific, if you write off point, the mistakes you make will cancel off the parts which you got correct (within the same question) so memorize your keywords well - There will be essay like question in Sejarah. For these types of questions, especially KBAT (Kemahiran Berfikir Aras Tinggi) or HOTS (High Order Thinking Skills) questions, unlike Science, you can write as much as you know and your mistakes won't cancel out the right answer as long as you touched on it in your overall answer. - For the languages, English, BM and Chinese, one needs to practice reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. BM writing and BM Lisan are counted as two separate papers wheres the speaking and listening parts of English and Chinese are counted and included as one paper together with the writing test. There is no short cut for languages. One just has to read a lot to build vocabulary and practice consistently to improve writing skills. - For papers with projects, Geografi, Sejarah, ASK or RBT, just follow teacher's instructions and do them well. It will help as they are included in the overall subject marks. - Finally, practice makes perfect in Mathematics so get workbooks to do frequent practice.
I hope this answers some of the questions raised by parents by pm or in our FB group. Sorry I am unable to reply to each one individually.
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