: The public must be careful when giving feedback on the inaugural Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) examination and not compare the current PT3 examination with the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR).
Deputy Education Minister P.Kamalanathan said the two examinations differed as they were not only conducted in different formats but also had different aims.
'Higher Order Thinking Skills' questions are used in the PT3 and unlike the the PMR, all PT3 papers comprise subjective questions requiring students to think and the marking process has also been enhanced.
"In essence, these are two different sets of examination and comparing them is a futile effort," he said in his latest posting today titled 'Let us work together for a better future for our students' in his blog, pkamalanathan.blogspot.com.
He said the PT3 results released on Monday had drawn praise as well as criticism from stakeholders and the general public.
"Every feedback is priceless as our intentions are the same; to ensure our students in Malaysia are given the best education possible. As in any new endeavour or positive change, time is of essence.
"We need to be fair in our feedback as this new initiative is a learning curve that requires the support of all to achieve its objectives," he said.
Kamalanathan said the effectiveness of change was not always immediate, especially when it concerned education. So, it might take some time to fine-tune the new format.
"However, constructive feedback is most welcomed as the common objective is to aim for excellence in our education system," he added.
Kamalanathan said he personally did not agree with those who had blindly criticised the PT3 examination which was premised on Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTs).
"A very basic comparison would be on those students who have performed well in the PT3 examination. I am sure they went through the same education system as every other student, if not throughout the country, but at least at their respective schools.
"If they are able to understand the new format and perform, what is the challenge for the other students?" he questioned.
Kamalanathan said, another case in point was Aisyah Azizul Raheem, the 15-year-old eldest child of Azizul Raheem Awalludin and Shalwati Norshal who were arrested by Swedish authorities for abusing their children.
"She performed well, scoring 5As although she only studied for eleven months in Malaysia, amid a family crisis. Given the situation she was in, her performance was exceptional.
"The question many should ask is why many of our very own students found PT3 a challenge or difficult, as claimed by some of them and their parents in the media.
"I wish to appeal to all concerned to come together and work with the ministry of education to ensure our intention of providing quality education is achieved in the shortest time possible," he said.
Kamalanathan said such appeal called for constant engagement and constructive feedback from all stakeholders.
"I am sure the ministry of education welcomes all constructive feedback and is committed to do what it takes for our education system to be among the best in the world," he added.
A total of 453,413 candidates who sat for PT3 at 2,608 examination centres nationwide in October received their results on Monday (Dec 22).
This was the first time the PT3 assessment was implemented to replace the PMR, which was introduced in 1993.