KUALA LUMPUR — The Education Ministry today announced that all secondary school level examinations will be upgraded to ‘Xtreme XM’, in a move to better attract youngsters to sit for UPSR, SPM and STPM.
Speaking at a Parliament breakout room after the morning session, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein said that the move was designed to counter bad perception of the exams.
“We conducted research to find out what our students think about sitting for UPSR, SPM and STPM, and most of them said they don’t look forward to it.
“In fact, many used terms like ‘sucks’, ‘blows’ and ‘lagi baik aku mati’ when describing their dislike for exams.”
Hishamuddin said that in light of the necessity for exams to gauge the quality of the people the system churns out, the ministry needed to increase the value of exams in the eyes of the students.
“Through extensive focus group interviews and man-on-the-street polls, we found that while youngsters loathe taking exams, they love extreme games. We figured, both are challenging things to do, so why not put two-and-two together?” said the minister, jubilantly.
“Hence, ‘Xtreme XM’: Acing It with Adrenaline!™ ”
Hishamuddin said that the government plans to start the Xtreme XM programme in 2010, beginning with SPM. “Currently, we’re still testing the viability of the different extreme sports to pair with our different exam subjects.
“We’ve hired professionals from Australia and Germany to push the possibilities to the limit, to maximise the pleasure of taking our exams.”
On the cards may be the BJ-BM (Bungee Jumping Bahasa Malaysia) paper, Snowboard-Science, Rock-climbing Mathematics and Dirt-biking History. Other subjects are still being tested.
A random check with students on how they feel about the Xtreme XM revealed a mixed feeling.
Fourth-former Sandra Lam, of the Sek. Men. Bukit Kiara enthused, “I’m really looking forward to taking my SPM exam now. While it had always been a drag, now it’ll be a rush!
“I mean, exams determine your future in this country. Why not risk life and limbs doing it too?”
Form 3 student Ali Razak of Sek. Men. SS2 said, “I don’t know. I appreciate the ministry’s effort to make exam-taking more fun, but I already feel like dying doing the regular exam.
“I think they should keep it as an option.”