JOHOR BARU: Was Tamil Paper 1 in the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination on Tuesday meant for 12-year-olds?
Some Tamil school teachers and parents feel the questions were more suitable for Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) students. According to them, the standard was so high that even adults took time to understand the questions.
Parent S. Rajendran said the question paper had two lengthy comprehension passages set in classical Tamil that went well beyond the Year 6 pupils’ understanding.
"I was really shocked. Although I’m Tamil educated, I could not fully understand the passages. It took me almost 10 minutes to read and properly understand them.
"I wonder how the pupils could have answered all the 40 questions in the comprehension test within the 50 minutes allocated. They must have raced through their answers.
"The instructions were also too long and and confusing. The multiple choice answers were too close in meaning, with some questions having more than one answer. Question number 28 was printed wrongly as well," he added.
A Tamil teacher said some of her best pupils could not handle the questions.
"They were disappointed. They panicked and some cried that they could not answer them properly."
Another teacher said: "I have been teaching Tamil to UPSR pupils for seven years. This year’s questions were PMR standard."
When contacted, Johor MIC Youth Chief M. Asojan said he had received numerous complaints from parents as well.
"Being a former Tamil teacher, I think the standard for this year’s UPSR Tamil exam was really high. I do not know how they are going to evaluate the pupils with the standard this high."