A proposal to openly share examination performance of every school to the public for analysis is met with scepticism, as it may bring more harm then usefulness.
During yesterday’s 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) session, LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Salleh Bostaman bin Haji Zainal Abidin proposed that the data for school examinations should be made open to the public, noting that the ministry has been keeping analysis of the data internal to within the ministry.
“I would like to suggest applying the whole-of-nation approach and increasing the participation of public groups or interested communities or individuals as well as agencies outside the ministry and the government to provide independent analysis of the data, give feedback from an authoritative viewpoint and invited to co-create solutions together,” he said.
In her reply, Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Datin Seri Setia Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh said the sharing of data would only be appropriate if it was with the parents and guardians of the students.
“Sharing each school’s data to the public is not a common practice, even on the international level, due to the interpretations of the data leading to various implications,” she said.
She noted that admission to government schools is according to the catchment area and not by choice, so ranking of schools according to performance does not necessarily give an accurate picture of the quality of a school due to several other factors that can affect its performance, including students’ background, socioeconomics, student ratio and others.
Earlier, Yang Berhormat Datin Seri Setia Dr Hajah Romaizah said while data sharing may stimulate positive developments, it could also create risks, thus it is appropriate to first assess the level of those risks prior.
She said the Ministry of Education carries out deep analysis regarding results, and when evaluation is done at the school level, teachers use the analysis as information to improve teaching methods.
At the school level, the ministry analyses student performance with a controlled context, taking into account the number of students, location of the school and other factors.
“Sharing data without context can lead to various interpretations,” she said, adding that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which also organised the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), has a ban on sharing school performance results.
“A well-known website that previously shared school data in 2010 has since stopped making direct comparisons of schools in 2020 on the grounds that the effect of sharing could harm staff morale and student well-being,” the minister added.
However, she said that the ministry and schools do welcome the cooperation of the public, especially parents who want to improve the achievements of students.
“How this should be done is to keep in touch with the school, where their child’s data can be shared.”