KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will abolish its primary school leaving examination from 2021, said Senior Education Minister Radzi Jidin on Wednesday (Apr 28).
The decision to abolish the (Primary School Achievement Test) UPSR was made after getting views and input through various processes, said Dr Radzi at a press conference.
More than 1,700 participants were involved, comprising of teachers, parents, students, as well as unions and associations across Malaysia in various sessions held.
Dr Radzi added that some teachers spoke to him about how they had to "steal" time from other subjects that did not have specific examinations.
This is to allow students enough time to prepare for the primary school leaving examination, thus reducing the opportunities for teachers to use creativity when delivering lessons in school.
Some parents also shared how the focus on the UPSR, which was considered an important examination, caused their children to have limited time for other aspects of their education, Dr Radzi said, as some children were sent for tuition classes as early as Primary 1.
With the UPSR abolished, the assessment method for Primary 6 students will be focused on strengthening the school-based assessment, said Dr Radzi.
He added that admission to boarding schools for 2022 will be based on the Specific Schools Admission Assessment (PKSK).
Most students saw USPR as a component to enrol into boarding schools, he said.
However, when PKSK was implemented last year for admission into boarding schools, only a quarter of all the Primary 6 students sat for the examination.
"Hence, we see that if given the choice, not all students want to sit for special examinations to go to boarding schools,” he said, adding that students also face pressure to attend various classes after school hours.
USPR was first introduced in Malaysia in 1988.
Malaysia's Form Three Assessment (PT3) will also be cancelled for this year, added Dr Radzi Jidin at the press conference.
The Form Three Assessment is an examination for Secondary 3 students at the end of the academic year.
As to why the PT3 was cancelled, Dr Radzi said they took into account the time needed for students to prepare for it amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The assessment method for the examination in 2021 will be the same as last year, said Dr Radzi.
Students will be assessed through school-based performance, which includes assessing them in the classroom, physical activities, sports, co-curriculum and psychometric fields.
In line with the abolition of UPSR, the assessment for Primary 6 special needs students has also been abolished, Dr Radzi said.