Higher order thinking skills measure students’ critical thinking. FILE PIC

MY son just got his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia trial exam results and was very disappointed with his performance in the Economics paper. He asked me a question which I had no answer to.

“They say that they are making us think through higher order thinking skills, but when I think in a higher order and provide a sensible and workable answer, it is marked wrong.

“When I approach the teachers for a justified argument, I am shut down with the mere reply: ‘It is not in the answer scheme’.

“How would the teachers who prepare the answer scheme know the answer that I am thinking of?

“My answer may be correct, but it is marked wrong because it is not in the answer scheme. Is the answer scheme exhaustive?”

I was lost for words. I hope someone could shed some light.

We talk about creativity and turning students into thinkers rather than memorisers. But, after this, my son will probably use his “higher order thinking skills” to think about whether his answer matches the answer scheme to get it right instead of using it to answer the exam questions creatively.

Assuming the answer scheme is correct, would it remain relevant two or three years from now? My take is that these answer schemes, which all teachers depend on, should be reviewed every six months. Otherwise, we will kill many eureka moments, though I must say we may have already done so.

I hope someone in a responsible position, such as the education minister or the secretary-general, will give me and my son an explanation.

I understand that my son has to bear with the situation and go through the mill, but this one is for all young Malaysians in schools, who will one day lead my beloved country using their “higher order thinking skills”.

Mano Verabathran, Kajang, Selangor

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