Testing Year One pupils’ 3M skills

PUTRAJAYA: A literacy and numeracy detection assessment will be conducted for Year One pupils to identify those who have not mastered the 3M skills – reading, writing and counting.

Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek said this was to allow these pupils to receive intervention early as the assessment would be conducted within three months of the beginning of this academic year.

“The detection of literacy and numeracy of Year One pupils aims to identify those who have not yet mastered reading, writing and counting skills and need early intervention that is appropriate to their abilities, capabilities and learning style,” she said when announcing the ministry’s curriculum intervention measures to solve the learning loss among schoolchildren yesterday.

Also present was Education director-general Azman Adnan who said the teachers would also use classroom-based assessments (PBD) in those three months to identify pupils needing extra help.

“(Intervention is needed) as soon as they enter school,” he said.

Previously, the literacy and numeracy assessment was done at Year Three.

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Azman said those identified as needing intervention would be separated into a three-month intervention programme that would be conducted during schooling hours.

Pupils will be in the programme, to run from July to September, until they are competent in the 3M, he said.

He further said that if the pupils have not mastered the 3M by then, they will remain in the programme for another three months.

The programme, said Azman, “is so that they can build self-confidence to learn and communicate more effectively”.

“There will also be (other) intervention processes for them that will be conducted by the school and teachers from time to time,” he said.

He also said there would be dedicated expert teachers to conduct the programme full-time but this is subject to the school’s capacity.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Azman said the teachers running the programme would ensure the pupils did not fall behind their peers who were not in the programme in those three months.

“The pupils are learning the same syllabus but they will focus on literacy and numeracy,” he said.

He added that the schools would inform the parents about the details of the programme and the assessment.

According to Fadhlina, the Academic Session Final Test (UASA) mastery level system will be changed to a percentage and grade structure from this year.

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She said this decision was made after feedback from parents, teachers and other stakeholders on the current curriculum that had been an issue before this.

She also said PBD reporting would be simplified and could be accessed online by parents via the Integrated Assessment Management System.

She added that the mastery level system would continue for PBD, which is conducted twice a year.

Azman said the current “descriptors” for each mastery level would use simpler terms to make it easier for parents and teachers to understand.

“We are introducing more parent-friendly assessment reporting for parents, so that they have access to know their children’s progress,” said Fadhlina.

Other intervention measures announced by the minister include the KSSR (Primary School Standard Curriculum) Alignment Document (Revision 2017) Edition 3 for Science and Mathematics Level One subjects.

ASLO READ: Education Ministry reveals steps to tackle learning loss

“The curriculum alignment involves updating and reorganising subject content for existing Level One Science and Mathematics lessons,” she added.Level One is Year One, Year Two and Year Three.

Azman said this would include using simpler terms in the lessons by the teachers and combining the learning standards and content standards.

This will result in lessons being easier to conduct, he said, adding that its usage is at the discretion of the teacher and based on the pupil’s ability to understand the lesson.

It can be used together with the Level One Science and Mathematics Guidance Module, he said.

He added that information on the document would be disseminated to all primary school Science and Mathematics teachers through workshops and training from today.

Azman said they are focusing on Science and Mathematics for now and would move onto Bahasa Malaysia and English next.

“These are the interventions to the current curriculum for us to balance and give space to our teachers, parents and pupils to master (the subjects), especially Mathematics and Science,” said Fadhlina, adding that this is not the new curriculum which will only commence in 2027.

Last week, the minister had said that 435,838 students in primary and secondary school nationwide were facing learning problems.

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