Modification of National Exam Would ‘Overly Worry’ Students: Lawmaker
An Education and Culture Ministry plan to modify and vary national exam
questions next year might unduly burden students, according to a
lawmaker who, among other concerns, cited the increased difficulty test
takers attempting to cheat would face.
“With 20 question variants, students would have to work harder because
there is no hope of cheating, [and they] will overly worry,” Zulfadli, a
member of House of Representatives Commission X overseeing education,
said on Saturday.
He said such a plan would only drive teachers to focus on tailoring
lessons to potential national exam questions, in the process neglecting
other subject matters.
Education and Cultural Minister Muhammad Nuh on Thursday said he would
alter the way the 2013 national exams are administered, boosting the
number of test variants from five to 20. He is also considering
increasing the test’s difficulty and modifying its grading standards.
Zulfadli said the proposal showed that the government did not trust education institutions.
“How big is their worry?” Zulfadli said. “Does it mean that [students’] honesty [is at] a worrying level?”
He also said increasing the number of variants would cause distribution
problems and make analysis of the nation’s scholastic achievement more
Another member of House Commission X, Reni Marlinawati from the United
Development Party (PPP), also downplayed the need for the government’s
preventive proposal on Saturday, and echoed Zulfadli’s concern for the
potential for test changes to cause students psychological duress.