Wednesday, October 27, 2004

MUET LEAK

35 students will have to resit Muet,

says MECBY GAVIN GOMEZ

PETALING JAYA: A teacher who is an examiner for the Malaysian University English Test (Muet) leaked the “speaking” component to students from his school more than an hour before the exam.
The Malaysian Examinations Council (MEC) confirmed this in a statement and said that 35 students from a Kepong school would have to resit the test on a date that has yet to be determined.
It is learnt that the teacher, who was an examiner in another school, had phoned his students on Monday after he had collected the question papers.
“He called some students to inform them about the topics,” said a source from the school. Muet, introduced in 1999, is compulsory for all Form Six students intending to enrol in public universities.
MEC chief executive Datuk Termuzi Abdul Aziz said: “We have investigated the matter and found that a student may have obtained information regarding the test from the examiner at about 6.40am that day, which was 10 minutes after the test papers had been handed out to examiners under the Kuala Lumpur Education Department.” The test was held at 8am.
For this component, four students will participate in a group discussion where each of them has to give a two-minute presentation on a given topic. In the case of the leaked questions, the topics of discussion were made known to the students.
Termuzi said a police report would be lodged so a thorough investigation could be carried out.
“The leak was a result of someone failing to carry out his duty as an examiner responsibly,” he added.
He said that if proven guilty, the examiner concerned would face legal action under the Malaysian Examinations Council Act 1980 which carries a RM10,000 fine or two years' jail sentence or both.
MEC is in charge of the STPM (Higher School Certificate) and Muet while the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate oversees UPSR (Primary School Achievement Test), PMR (Lower Secondary Assessment) and SPM (Malaysian Certificate of Education).
Testing for the speaking component is being carried out over six days from Oct 19 to 21 and Oct 25 till today. As there are two sessions a day, there are a total of 12 sets of tests – one for each session.
The speaking component accounts for 15% of the entire test. The rest comprises the written component, which students will sit for on Oct 30.
At the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) conference this year, Sharifah Sheha Syed Aziz Baftim from Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Language Centre said her research revealed that more than half her students found the speaking component tough because of their lack of command over the language, poor vocabulary, failure to understand questions and lack of exposure to topics of discussion.
A total of 84,176 candidates have registered to sit for the test this year.
In last year’s year-end test, a record 64.52% of candidates passed the Muet compared to the 51.79% passing rate for those who sat for it in the middle of the year. Students who achieve a Band Three (Modest User) and better are considered to have passed the test.

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