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Monday, July 13, 2015

Transition From SJKC To SMK or SMJK

Today I received an email from a reader. She wanted to know a few things about transition from SJKC to SMK. I'm just going to share our Q & A here. Hope it helps anyone else who has these questions in their mind too. 

Q) As your child studied in a Chinese school, did you send him/her for extra BM classes during the year-end holidays to ease her transition into a Malay-medium school?

A) No. I don't think it is necessary to send for extra BM classes during the year end holidays. It is more important to make sure the child has a good BM foundation all throughout the SJKC years.

Q) How did he/she cope / adjust / adapt to the new environment during the first two months? Did she experience any "culture shock" at the start and how did she overcome it?

A) Firstly, children going on to mainstream public schools may end up either in SMK or SMJK. For SMJK, the environment is much like in SJKC where many students speak in Chinese whereas in SMK if your child's foundation in BM is strong there shouldn't be any "culture shock" at all. It depends on the company she mixes with. There are many children who transition from SJKC to SMK so she will still be in company she is used to. The kids get used to the teachers speaking BM in no time at all. It is not much different from teachers speaking in Chinese all the time. They have already been exposed to BM during the BM lessons in school. Now it is more widely used, that is all.

Q) Is it compulsory for students from Chinese primary schools to take up Chinese from Form 1 to  Form 3?
A) Chinese is a compulsory subject for SMJK but not SMK. From what I know (and I may be wrong), they can opt out but schools may encourage them to take up the subject. It may be a good idea too as it will keep them updated on the language. However, I heard of many kids who opt out of sitting for it in SPM because they are afraid that it will affect their chances of getting straight As. It is also an added heavy subject to study for. It depends on the individual I guess. 
Q) Is it true that PT3 results are partially based on the accumulated exam results from Form 1 to Form 3? It's no longer based on just one exam set by the Examination Board, Projects are also taken into account especially for History and Geography. I heard from my colleague that this system of grading is applied on Form 1 students of 2015 / or those who are taking PT3 in 2017.  She's not sure whether this grading began from the first batch of PT3 as her daughter just started Form 1 this year. She said many parents in her daughter's school were stressed out as this type of grading meant that students' marks for every examination counts

A) I am not sure whether it has already been implemented but having grading spaced out is not necessarily bad. In fact, it should be a good thing and not something to stress over. Now there will be less pressure over just one exam.

That's all for now. I hope that helps.


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