This year, 2012, I have a child in Std 2 doing the KSSR syllabus and a Std 4 child doing the KBSR syllabus.

So what is KSSR? What does KSSR stand for? I am sure that most parents in Malaysia know that kids start the new KSSR syllabus in 2012 but just what does KSSR stand for? Now, that’s simple. KSSR stands for Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah.

What about the older KBSR then? What does KBSR stand for? Now, that one is easy too. KBSR stands for Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah.

Now that we’ve got the easy part of the way, deriving the abbreviation for KSSR and KBSR, lets talk about the hard part.

The hard part is faced by parents whose children are doing the new KSSR new syllabus. Parents whose kids are doing the KBSR syllabus can skip this post. Let me give you an example.

I have children doing both the syllabus. My standard 2 child cannot recycle or reuse his sister’s books because the syllabus has changed for almost every subject, English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, Maths and Science. For example in Math, he is now taught Fractions in Std 1 and Fractions and Decimals in Std 2. Previously, it was not taught till Std 3. So if you buy the old KBSR workbooks you would have missed out two whole chapters. This is only an example of one confusion that can arise.

Worse still, the book publishers and printers are in a bind. How do they get rid of their old KBSR stocks? What’s happening is, when I went to the bookshops, I had trouble finding Std 2 workbooks or rather very few Std 2 KSSR workbooks. Std 1 is ok since there is new print for this year but not Std 2. For almost every publisher, I could find Std 1 then Std 3, 4, 5,6  but not Std 2. I had trouble finding KSSR books for Std 2, probably they will be available later on.

Then there are unscrupulous publishers who change the name of the cover to KSSR! Well, at least that is what I think because I had bought a KSSR book but when I looked inside the syllabus was the same as the old one. So before you go out to buy any workbooks for your child, make sure you look at his textbook to know his syllabus first, then make sure it matches those of the workbooks. Don’t buy blindly. Do some homework first.

Here is my tips for parents when buying primary school workbooks:

  1. Std 1 and Std 2 parents buy books with KSSR on the cover
  2. However, make sure you check your child’s textbook before buying. Make sure that the syllabus in the workbook matches the syllabus in the textbook
  3. You will need to buy KSSR for the 5 core subjects, i.e. the 3 languages English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, plus Maths and Science
  4. However, you may get KBSR books for the paper 2 for English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese. Paper 2 meaning the Writing Practise Paper as this do not change very much. (Paper 1 is Comprehension or Pemahaman, Paper 2 is Writing or Penulisan) Note: In Std 1 and 2, there is no Paper 2 test for English, however workbooks are available for practise. There is Paper 2 test for Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Cina or Chinese though)
  5. If your child is in Chinese School, go to the SJKC section to pick books. What does SJKC stand for? (SJKC stands for Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina). As for those in National Schools, buy your workbooks from the SJK section (SJK stands for Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan). They syllabus for both are different.

So many acronyms and abbreviations to learn. Parenting is hard enough without all this headache.

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