Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Dr. Anuar Ahmad and PISA results


                                                                     Dr. Anuar Ahmad

Recently I saw a Facebook post by one Dr. Anuar Ahmad who has a following of 64K members. He writes many articles on education in Malay on Facebook. His motto on his Facebook profile is: "The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” – Herbert Spencer

I have copied below his article dated 7.12.23 translated into English by Google and my comments. I hope to be able to pick his brains on this matter. 

Dr. Anuar Ahmad

Looks like our children's achievements in PISA 2022 are sinking badly.

Parents deserve to know what is the real reason for the deterioration of performance of children in PISA 2022 compared to 2018? Science performance is declining, language performance is declining and worst of all- math!

My comment: I want to comment only on language performance as I don’t know much about science and math. I believe the Malaysians did their test in English and not in Malay as then it will be not comparing like with like. China has consistently been number one in reading but they read in Chinese.


Why has Singapore consistently been number one? I believe it is because the intelligent kids in Singapore take the examination while Malaysia has classified them as dyslexic. Singapore caters for the kids who can’t read at grade level by end of grade one. So, many of the smart kids are brought to grade level by the end of grade one.

Dr. Anuar Ahmad:

Is it because of the syllabus: our Education Minister confirms that the school curriculum in Malaysia is comparable to the curriculum of other countries such as Singapore, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and Finland. LINK

Or are the teachers to blame? The Cambridge University study in 2018 confirms that Malaysian teachers are among the most committed teachers in the world. LINK 

My comment: If our syllabus is the same as in the countries mentioned above and our teachers as committed as teachers around the world then how is it that Singapore beats us all in both 2018 and 2022. (Singapore was also number 1 in 2012 and 2015. Dr. Anuar Ahmad perhaps can explain.)

Dr. Anuar Ahmad:

Or are the parents the cause?

Or are our students not as smart as students of other countries?

People must want to know the cause because they think it's weird. Why is the performance of PISA 2022 plummeting badly, while the results of SPM 2020, 2021 and 2022 have consistently increased? LINK

So the responsible party should explain, what is the real reason for the decline in performance of our children in PISA 2022 so that we can improve together.

My comments:

Who is the responsible party? The Minister of Education and her officers did not answer my email. I have explained why kids disengage from learning to read. I gifted my book Shut Down Kids to Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 2018 and a few of his ministers to no avail.

Here are two comments of several I made on Dr. Anuar Ahmad’s Facebook post. I look forward to his response.

Luqman Michel (10.12.23)

Dr. Do you know that most of the intelligent kids do not have a chance to do this test? They do not have a chance because they shut down/ disengage from learning to read and are wrongly classified as dyslexic. One of several examples I have on why kids are unable to read is in the following video. LINK

Dr. I think this boy is an intelligent kid but will end up being called dyslexic. This is what we should be focussing on. What is your opinion?


In another post by Dr. Anuar Ahmad I commented as follows:

Luqman Michel (09.12.23)

Take it from me Dr. you and most of our educators are barking up the wrong tree. Replacing UPSR or not replacing is an important issue. However, the issue that we should focus on is why many intelligent kids shut down /disengage from learning to read. By the end of grade one, we should be able to identify such kids and the intervention provided. I have been shouting at the top of my lungs for more than a decade but no one appears to understand. In January, our Puan Fadhlina Sidek said she wants to reduce intervention for kids. I wrote an email to her and she did not reply. Tell me, Dr. how do we provide intervention if we do not know why kids disengage from learning to read? Dr. for > 35 years the theory was that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of dyslexia. I decided to research that in 2004. By 2010 I was convinced that PAD was not the cause of Dyslexia. I wrote > 100 articles/ comments disagreeing with that theory until that theory was debunked in 2017. You may Google and read a few of my articles. LINK


The first item has 3 research reports mentioning my name. The important thing is to ask, if Phonological Awareness Deficit is not the cause of dyslexia then what is? I know and I wrote a book detailing the reasons. Would you like to discuss this?

I am still waiting for a reply from him. I saw on his post yesterday (11.12.23) that he is out of the country. Let us wait for his return.

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