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Narratives of English Language Teachers on the Implementation of School-Based Assessment (SBA) in Sarawak, Malaysia

Hugh John Leong and Souba Rethinasamy

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 28, Issue S2, December 2020

Published: 18 March 2020

Malaysia has followed other countries such as Australia, Finland, and the United Kingdom in adopting school-based assessment (SBA). SBA was introduced to the Malaysian education system in 2011 with the rationale of reducing examination-oriented learning among students; effectively evaluate students’learning; and provide a systematic way of assessing, recording and reporting students’learning. Numerous studies have highlighted various complaints, issues, and challenges in the implementation of SBA among English language teachers in West Malaysia but only a few studies have been conducted in East Malaysia. This paper thus seeks to shed light on and provide a comparative qualitative study of, perspectives, implementation, issues, and problems faced by English language teachers in East Malaysia. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve English teachers (N = 12) teaching in the lower secondary forms of public national schools in the Kuching and Samarahan area of Sarawak. Interview questions were designed based on Stake’s Countenance Model of Evaluation (1967) and encompassed three key criteria of evaluation, which were antecedents prior to implementation, transactions during, and outcomes of the program. All interviews were coded and clustered according to themes. The findings suggest that a lack of training and clear policy direction hampered the initial implementation of SBA. However, most teachers reported that since its implementation, the policy had gained greater clarity with greater support now provided by the Ministry of Education through the provision of further training opportunities.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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