Saturday, November 26, 2016

UPSR 2016 in Aliyah's Diary

It has been a week pass the UPSR result. The guinea pig batch they called Aliyah's batch. But I have high hopes for the KSSR (read up my earlier thoughts). It was supposed to be different from the KBSR batch which started with my batch in school in 1984. That also means I was from a guinea pig batch too. KBSR was an oversimplified version of the curriculum than the ones before. KSSR is totally different. It was supposed to emphasized on the ability of the students to make sense of what they learned. But alas the teachers mostly still carry the same mentality they had before - the KBSR mentality. They would finished up the curriculum in a rush and then focus on students to answer as many questions as they can, which they hoped would be asked in the exam. They were surprised, because that's not what happened. In a way, I was kinda relieved this happened. I hope the teachers and the school managements would now learned their lesson and eventually throw out this 'latih tubi' akin to memorizing mentality. It has to stop. They must first focus on students' ability to understand, digest, think and the ability to reprocess the information in a different scenario. Yes, all the subjects need 'latih tubi' but not at the expense of them not getting the knowledge first.

Last nite LANDSKAP on TV1 had a great discussion on 2016 UPSR. The panels emphasized, yet again, chase after the knowledge and the As will come. That should be the mentality impressed on the students and parents too. Probably it would be too much to ask for in such short span of time - 6 years, but seriously everyone have to change, including parents. Including myself. I shouldn't let the euphoria of 'As' engulfed me. Every parents wanted the best for their children. Understandably. But the As although important, because it shows persistence, hard work and determination, is not everything in your child's development. Some child have different tendencies, different needs, different interest. Parents need to always remember that and provide the necessary supports for their children.  

And Aliyah?
I remembered early in the morning on the 17th November, my DH quipped to Aliyah - "It doesn't matter what you got, what's important you have tried your best!" and he gave her a kiss on the forehead and a hug (something he rarely do, I must say) and off I went to send her to school. By 10 am I have already known her result through sms. It was 5A1B. A near miss, because in the last 2 trials she had scored straight As in all the core papers. And the B is for her favourite subject - Science. It was Maths we were worried about, because she carried a C throughout last year till early this year. A 'C' in Maths is a NO NO to me, not because I was after the 'A', but because that means she doesn't get the concept, in other words she was unable to process the questions and solve them. That was worrisome, because Maths is important in everything, not only her academic future, but her life too. I resorted to hiring a personal tutor to get the Maths concept through to her. And because she inherently is a brilliant kid, eventually after a few months she got it, Alhamdulillah.
I told her the result before the headmaster's announcement because I don't want to her anticipate otherwise. I couldn't really sense how she was taking it but I congratulated her and assured her how proud I am with her. I also texted the school's PIBG WhatsApp group to thank the teachers for all their hard work this year. I am one of the AJK PIBG and I personally know how committed the teachers were throughout the year. Anyway, Aliyah has not been so sure of her Science paper even after the exam. And I went through the paper too. The questions were rather tricky. But when asked what do you think of Science now? She said I like Science, there's so many interesting thing about it. That was a relief. She even believed she just got lucky with her Maths paper. The questions were easy she once told me. I assured her there's nothing considered luck in Maths. Maths is akin to learning something that requires psychomotor with a twist, it requires  not only understanding but regular training and problem solving exercises. She did all those training and exercises regularly this year, which made Maths appear to be easy to her, Alhamdulillah.

Anyway, there's 3 students with 6As, and 3 students with 5As1B at her school. There was a feeling of disappointments after a few students started crying. All of them were consoled by the teachers and parents too. To me it was only natural - to cry, that is. People can put a lot of interpretations into it. Probably they had high expectations and the exam let them down, probably they will be scarred for life, probably they will feel intimidated and so on.  But I believe children are a resilient lot if you gave them the right and necessary support they will bounce back in due time. In fact, a week after the result, everyone is back being their happy self that they are - children being children. Aliyah couldn't even be bothered to investigate what her friends got for their UPSR. She's just happy to spend the last few days of her primary school days with her friends. They are ready to move on. I hope their parents would too :-)

Aliyah and her friends on their Primary 6 Graduation Day :-)