Formerly, before graduated standard at junior and senior high school specified in certain passing grade, there is never emerge an objections as much as this time. Several objections judge that national exam is only government project, which have potencies to harm many sides, including student itself.
Their objections consist of various reasons. Its start at neglecting of student basic rights, provide unjust reality because students hard work in learning -during three years- must be vanished in short 120 minute of national exam, up to a debatable passing grade which convinced not yet conform to the quality of our education process, particularly at under-develop regions with minimum facility.
For many students, it seems fun if there is no passing grade for graduate exam. More than anything else, if there is no exam at all.
Then, publics surely want to know, why government constantly insists to execute national exam every year? Isn't it true that, in Indonesia, to step into higher level education, student must through another entrance exam again?
To answer this matter, we will definitely involve in continuous debate with different way of approach.
According to the philosophy of education that prevailing in our society for many years, most important purpose of school exam is to know, or to measure how far the efficacy rate of learning process. Teacher, parents, government, higher level education institution, and even company which we will work later, needs to know how much knowledge advance occurs through certain exam.
Examination also can assist student to learn more diligent. Including to providing a feedback about how well student comprehend the lesson items.
Thereby, examination, especially which interrelated with international standard and have purpose to convert our knowledge advance in the form of score, usually connected to many broader interests.
But, based on the recent approach -like humanistic view, or from accelerated learning movement- examination will have a quite different meaning.
Examination is just one small component. It’s not a decisive factor for all education process. The important thing is how we take an appropriate response to the result of the examination. If its result less satisfying, what can be done by student -assisted with teacher- to improve the learning process, and to obtain better score in future. Not destroying the happiness of learning by telling 'You Failed', and become a permanent mark that will remembered by the student for their lifetime.
Therefore, as points out by Professor Gardner above, assessment system need to be directly integrated into everyday school activities, not merely execute at the end of school year. And our education quality is not determined by national final exam alone, but from how far student can learn with their optimal capacities.
However, the existence of final examination will constantly become dilemma. Even, at nations with established education system which far better than us. Myron Tribus, one of education consultant at USA, asserted that unceasing of efforts to eliminate system assessment in education with score minded -also currently in effect at industrial field- requiring time through years.
In Indonesia, there is huge possibility that this dilemma will increase sharply. In accordance with quality of our teaching-learning process which still worrying, and in the middle of global demand for determined our education quality’s position through this quite competitive world.
In the end, there is one resolution which we must always believe in; that, the first aspect to improve is learning qualities in school.
Examination really needs to simply to mapping the result of learning. And through this map, we can develop a sustainable improvement in all regions at our country, both for student and also for our education system.
Improvement for our learning quality related to overall education system -hardware, software, and brain ware. Such best teachers which guiding student, inviting student to learn how 'the way of learning' far better, creating learning environment without stress and fear from failure, and also realize an adequate infrastructure.
The highest education quality with enjoyable atmosphere will motivated student enthusiasm and trigger their 'addictive' to learn. Herewith, high standard of passing grade will follow by itself.