Subject: A Very Wise View from Datuk Dr Agoes Salim...
The objective of STPM is to pass people?
How do you explain the fact that 87% of the students passed the exams of the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) recently, when during your father's time only 10% would have passed?
Are students getting smarter? Or are STPM questions getting easier?
Let me put things in their proper perspective.
During your grandfather's time, they would ask exam questions like: "In what year did Parameswara founded the kingdom of Melaka ?"
The correct answer was "1402", and they found that only 10% of the students managed to answer the question correctly.. This didn't go down too well with the authorities, because the objective of the exams was to pass people.
I mean, what's the point of having exams if people fail?
So later, they found another way to ask the same question:
"Parameswara founded the kingdom of Melaka in the year:
Tick the correct answer."
The results were better in that 20% of the students passed. But it was still not good enough, so the authorities tried a different tactic a few years later.
"Parameswara founded the kingdom of Melaka in the year 1402. True or false?"
Well, half of the students guessed "True" and the other half guessed "False".
Fully 50% passed.
The results were getting pretty acceptable by now but still not good enough. Most other countries would be satisfied with a 50% passing rate, but not us.
We are a better country, because we are a boleh country. The authorities then cracked their heads and then came out with this one:
Read the following sentence carefully.
"Parameswara, the cousin of Proton-Iswara, founded the kingdom of Melaka in the year 1402. Underline the name of the person who founded Melaka."
60% underlined "Parameswara", 30% underlined "Proton-Iswara" and 10% underlined "1402".
Yeah!!!!....60% managed to pass! So Clever!
But for some reason, the authorities were still not contented. So last year, they came out with this gem:
"One day in the year 1402, Parameswara founded the kingdom of Melaka. Then he went home to have dinner. What did he eat?"
13% (smart students) handed in blank answers, 57% wrote "Maggi Mee", 10% wrote "Kentucky fried Chicken" and 20% wrote "Nasi Lemak".
The correct answer was anything concerning "Food" of course!
After the marking was over, it was found that 87% of the students had passed.
87%!!!!!............now that's pretty impressive!
So it's true. So now the authorities are very happy that the students are indeed getting smarter?
Well done Boleh-land!
Perhaps, this is why we have a host of students with an impressive string of 'As' who can hardly construct a decent sentence!
Neow mind, our super-duper gomen can find a job for us one.