Archive for the ‘SPM’ Category

Let SPM start during year-end holidays

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
Close schools one month earlier to facilitate the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations. FILE PIC

THE Malaysian Examination Syndicate must be lauded for making adjustments to its initial proposed Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia timetable this year to accommodate the views of stakeholders.

It reduced the number of daily papers and spaced out more taxing subjects. This move is most welcome.

There is, however, another aspect that needs looking into.

SPM is from Oct 14 to Nov 28. In essence, it begins 1½ months before the year-end holiday starts.

As a former school head, I think having SPM encroach on the school term is disruptive.

When SPM is on, some teachers are required to leave their schools and be invigilators in examination centres in other schools.

Most teachers teach more than one form in a school. This means that other classes won’t have teachers.

Relief teachers won’t solve the problem as there are too many periods to replace.

Not all schools have examination halls, therefore some exams are conducted in classrooms.

Sometimes even the school hall is unable to accommodate all the students, so extra classrooms are allotted.

The regulations governing seating arrangements of candidates require more than a classroom to seat all candidates from a class.

So, a school with six Form 5 classes may need at least eight classrooms to accommodate the candidates.

In addition, you need a standby quarantine room and sick bay. Also, if a few classrooms in a block, whether single, double or three-storey, are used, the block has to be declared out of bounds.

With these constraints, schools have no choice and are given the discretion to allow some classes off on rotation.

Anticipating teachers and classrooms shortage, schools will have to conduct their year-end examinations for other forms well before SPM. So all “necessary teaching and testing” has to be done earlier.

At about the same time, we have the Form Three classes that have finished PT3 (Pentafsiran Tingkatan Tiga) earlier.

The ideal is that they are engaged in extracurricular activities. While it cannot be denied that some schools try to implement this, there are exceptions.

Once again, we don’t have teachers teaching only Form Three classes. The proposal is good on paper as most Form Three classes “disappear” after PT3 and long before the school term draws to a close.

Beginning SPM six weeks before the school term ends will aggravate this.

While SPM is on, the rest of the school is off. This sounds alarming, but there is truth to it.

I understand and support the decision to move exams away from the flooding season and I sympathise with candidates who have to sit their exam in a flood environment.

Close the school one month earlier to allow SPM to begin during the year-end school holidays.

“Recover” the “lost” one-month school term by opening the new school year one month early. This means opening a new school year in December instead of January.

The floods may impinge on this plan, but it is regional, not national as in the case of SPM, and schools are positioned to adjust school days so that no schooling days are lost.

By Liong Kam Chong.

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Sabah rural students outperform urban peers

Friday, March 15th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Innovative approaches taken by the Sabah Education Department are beginning to show a positive result, especially in addressing the rural-urban gap in academic achievement. For the first time, the students in rural schools in Sabah outperformed their peers in urban schools in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2018 results.

Sabah Education Director Mistirine Radin said the rural schools recorded 88.18 per cent of candidates passing all subjects while their urban peers at 87.19 per cent, indicating the quality of education in rural schools in the State has been improving.

She said the placement of interim teachers in rural schools beginning early last year was one of the main factors contributing to the improvement of rural schools’ achievement.

“This is because all this while, the main problem faced by the Sabah education sector was the lack of teachers in rural areas. However, with the appointment of interim teachers based on option and locality, the move has helped the districts which are in critical need of teachers,” she told reporters after announcing the SPM 2018 results for Sabah at SM Lok Yuk, Likas, here, Thursday.

She said the commitment and skills in teaching and learning process displayed by the interim teachers, comprising Sabah-born educators, also impacted the achievement of rural school students. Currently, there are 239 interim teachers in Sabah, comprising 197 serving in rural areas and 42 in urban areas.

That apart, performance dialogues focusing on certain issues, that involved collaboration between the academic management, schools and teachers also contributed to the good result, said Mistirine. She also commended former Sabah Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul for her tireless effort in lifting the State’s education performance during her tenure as the State Education Director.  A total of 214 schools across Sabah participated in the SPM 2018 examination, comprising 61 urban schools.

Meanwhile, 14 schools achieved excellent School Average Grade (GPS) with SM Sains Sabah Kota Kinabalu emerging top with a GPS of 1.97, followed by SMK St Michael Penampang (2.44 GPS), SM Sains Lahad Datu (2.54), SMK Agama Tun Ahmadshah Kota Kinabalu (2.70) and SM Islamiah Tawau (3.00).

The SPM 2018 also saw district education offices given recognition for the first time, with the Penampang District Education Office recording top place with 4.81 District Average Grade (GPD). Following this are Tawau (4.83), Tenom (5.13), Kota Kinabalu (5.23), Kuala Penyu (5.28), Kudat (5.28), Tuaran (5.29), Beaufort (5.34), Ranau (5.34) and Kunak (5.40).

Meanwhile, seven schools were awarded the Pencapaian Lonjakan Sekolah Terbaik for showing a surge in GPS of above 0.80.

The schools are SMK Wallace Bay Tawau, SMK Taman Tun Fuad Kota Kinabalu, SMK St Mary Sandakan, SMK St Patrick Beaufort, SMK Timbua Ranau, SMK St Michael Penampang and SMK Ulu Sugut Ranau.  Last years’ SPM also saw an increase by 484 candidates with a total of 34,322 compared to 33,838 in 2017.

There was also an increase by 0.80 per cent passes with a total of 17,420 candidates (51.68 per cent passes) last year compared to 17,217 candidates with 50.88 per cent passes in 2017.  The exam also saw a total of 152 candidates scoring straight A’s last year.

A total of 53 subjects were taken by the SPM candidates last year, with a total of 22 subjects recording 100 per cent passes.

Meanwhile, from the seven core subjects, three showed an increase in terms of quality. These are Science from 5.36 Subject Average Grade Point (GPMP) in 2017 to 5.28 GPMP last year, Pendidikan Moral from 4.32 GPMP in 2017 to 4.17 GPMP last year and Sejarah (5.73 GPMP to 5.47 GPMP last year).

by Sherell Jeffrey and photo by Locksley Ng.

2018 SPM results record improved GPN

Thursday, March 14th, 2019
The 2018 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results recorded a better National Average Grade (GPN) of 4.89 from 4.90 in 2017.-Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: The 2018 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results recorded a better National Average Grade (GPN) of 4.89 from 4.90 in 2017, said Education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin.

He said the improvement, though “small”, continued the positive trend which had been recorded since 2015.

A lower GPN indicates better performance.

Amin said 58.9 per cent, or 230,465 candidates, obtained at least a pass for all subjects they sat for, with 8,436 of them getting grade A+, A and A- for all subjects.


“The percentage of candidates who are eligible to be awarded the SPM certificate also increased by 1.2 per cent, where 86.4 per cent of the 391,641 candidates who sat for the examination last year are eligible to receive the certificate, from 85.2 per cent in 2017,” he added.

He said generally the achievement of the 2018 SPM candidates was better than in 2017 and with a narrower gap, of only 0.04, in the performance of urban and rural candidates.

Amin said a total of 296,673 candidates or 75.8 per cent were able to master two languages by obtaining at least a pass for the subjects Bahasa Melayu and English Language.

On candidates who failed in all subjects, he said this made up only 1.12 per cent of the total candidates.

Amin said the overall results showed that 61.1 per cent of the 2018 SPM candidates were able to master Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) subjects.

In the analysis, he said, it was found that 70.1 per cent of the candidates mastered the skills to evaluate, innovate (63.2 per cent), analyse (56.9 per cent) and apply (54.3 per cent).

“The thinking skills should always be nurtured in the candidates while in school and at home,” he said.

“Mastering of HOTS is important for the candidates to ascertain that they are able to face challenges and also to compete at international level.”

HOTS was introduced in the SPM examination in 2014 to test the candidates’ capability to apply knowledge in a new situation, to analyse, evaluate and innovate when answering their examination questions.

By Bernama.

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SPM results out next Thursday

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
Students sitting for the SPM exams at SMK Putrajaya Presint 11 (1). - Bernama

Students sitting for the SPM exams at SMK Putrajaya Presint 11 (1). – Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The 2017 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results will be released next Thursday (March 15).

The Education Ministry said in a statement that candidates can obtain their results from their schools after 10am on the day.

“Private candidates will receive their results through the post or can contact their state education departments where they registered for their examinations,” it said.

Candidates can also check their results through SMS by typing SPM <space> identity card number <space> index number and sending it to 15888 from 10am on March 15 to 6pm on March 21.

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443,883 Candidates To Sit For SPM Exam

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 31 (Bernama) — A total of 443,883 candidates will sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) written examination from Nov 6 to Dec 4, the Education Ministry said today.

It said in a statement that the candidates would sit for the examination at 3,363 centres throughout the country, and that 35,341 invigilators had been selected to conduct the examination.

Of the 443,883 candidates, 87 per cent are from government schools, government-aided schools and government-aided religious schools, 1.9 per cent from schools under agencies besides the Education Ministry, 1.9 per cent from state religious secondary schools, 0.4 per cent from people’s religious secondary schools, 3.4 per cent from private schools registered with the Education Ministry and 5.4 per cent, private candidates.

“The Examinations Syndicate reminds all candidates to refer to the examination time-table for information on the examination times as well as the directives to be adhered to during the examination.

“The time-table can be downloaded from the Examinations Syndicate website at,” it said.


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Is education a journey or a race?

Sunday, October 15th, 2017
In today’s competitive world, the rat race starts early. Excellent grades in academic subjects are the primordial benchmark that sets kids apart from their peers. FILE PIC

UPSR, SPM, STPM, GCE — just a few of the acronyms haunting many young minds at this time of the year. Young minds and their parents alike.

Remember the days when everything was a race? First to reach the bathroom in the morning, first to down their Milo, first to call shotgun for the ride to school. First to sit on the swing at recess, first in line for canteen lunch. First on the school bus to secure the best seat and first to reach the front door and ring the bell. A happy childhood consisted mostly of healthy competition among friends and siblings, a race to be the first in all things that, from an adult’s perspective, don’t really matter.

Most children gladly put their competitive mind to rest between recess and lunch. Pupils used to run out of the classroom, not into it. Hardly anyone pushed and shoved to be the first at the blackboard and try their luck at a complex math formula. Oh, happy childhood days. Not the most ambitious of times, but happy days, nonetheless.

So, what happened? Instead of a rambunctious crowd, today’s pupils march in single file from their parents’ cars onto the school grounds, born down by a school bag so big and heavy that the child who carries it could easily find space to sit in it herself. If Malaysian schools run two sessions per day, a fact that absolutely boggles the outsider’s mind, where are all the students that have the other half of the day off?

Why are they not playing outside, in their front yard, in the neighbourhood park? Why are they not hanging out at the local mall or mamak stall? Where and when are today’s children being children, where are the nation’s teens being pubescent?

Youngsters have no time to be childlike, or rebellious, or sullen, or dreaming, anymore. Youngsters are at tuition. They are at tuition centres that have popped up all over the country like “mushrooms growing after the rain”, to borrow a local saying.

In today’s competitive world, the rat race starts early. Excellent grades in academic subjects are the primordial benchmark that sets kids apart from their peers; the yardstick that determines a parent’s measure of success at their job as a progenitor.

Academic excellence is a must in secondary school; it is even the norm in primary school. Parents and guardians send their scions for after school tuition up to seven days a week. Gymnastics and piano lessons are squeezed in somewhere in between.

The “Asian F” is a very real notion. It is the widespread understanding that an A- is not good enough. The pressure on school children and their parents is growing to unhealthy proportions.

At the same time, many life skills are thrown overboard in a constant effort to be the best among the best. Professors in tertiary education lament the fact that they lecture classes of exceptionally well-instructed students who don’t understand what further education is all about. Students are bright and diligent, but they don’t know how to think critically, how to build an argument, how to debate, or how to work towards a solution as a team.

If parents and schoolchildren willingly submit to the burden of pushing for always better grades, it is in an effort to be best prepared for the real rat race, the demands of modern career perspectives.

However, it seems that academic excellence is not the whole ticket. Employers undoubtedly look favourably upon perfect scores. But, recruiters also look for attributes such as individuality, drive, passion, curiosity. These aren’t skills learned in the classroom, nor in a tuition centre, no matter how well intentioned the teachers and tutors might have been. These character traits are fashioned on the playground, on a football field, in a band, even while playing video games.

At first glance, this argument might come across as irresponsible, dismissive of academic values, rebellious even. It is not. It is simply an attempt at widening the scope of modern education.

A healthy education should be a marvelous journey, not a race. It is a plea for restoring a childhood that leaves space for learning how to fail, in order to better succeed, a childhood that is given the opportunity to grow at one’s individual pace.

It is an appeal, to give children the chance to spend time in a meadow, so that they know how to stop and smell the roses when they grow up.


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Sabah school records top results

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

SMK Nabawan, a school located some 200km from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, has recorded the best ever result for STPM in 2016 which saw increases in both the passing rate and school grade point average.

“We achieved a 96.6% passing rate in 2016, the highest since the school commenced Lower Six classes in 2011.

“The school Grade Point Average (GPA) also increased every year from 1.40 in 2012 to 2.37 in 2016,” said school principal Hendry Anandan.

Sports Science and Visual Arts recorded 100% passes while Malay Language, History, Geography, Sports Science and Malay Literature, recorded an improved grade point average in 2016 compared to the previous year. History in particular has recorded a better grade point average five years in a row.

The top student, Jack Joseph, scored 3As and 1A- with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.92. This ranks him among the best STPM candidates in the state.

“What is more remarkable is Jack managed to achieve his success while caring for his late father who was hospitalised for a period of time last year. This is certainly an inspiring example for other students,” said Hendry.

Besides academic success, SMK Nabawan also achieved a first in co-curricular activities by winning the overall championship in the Sabah state level Form Six Special Carnival in September 2016. This was where Jack displayed his all-round ability by being crowned as the best speaker in the public speaking competition. In addition, the school won the Team Chess and the Song and Dance Choreography events to emerge overall champions.

“Good support by the parents and community played an important part in the success of the students. “For example, the good turnout by parents during Meet the Clients Day and also contributions by the parent-teacher association for school programmes.”

Hendry also congratulated the dedicated team of Form Six lecturers for their outstanding work in moulding the students to become achievers in both academic and co-curricular fields.

“I pray they will achieve even better success in the coming years,” he added. He also recorded his appreciation to former Senior Assistant of Form Six, Alvin Chan Seng Chai for his services.

Jack, who is currently working in the peninsula to save money for further education, expressed his thanks to his family and teachers for helping him to achieve success.

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Going the extra mile

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

FORMER fifth former P. Yallene went the extra mile when she scored A for Tamil Literature in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination last year, although the subject was not taught in her school.

Now 18, the former SMK Taman Tasek Mutiara student also turned out to be the school’s top SPM scorer by scoring 5A+, 5A and an A- in the exam.

Although much of her success in the Tamil Literature subject is attributed to the fact that the school does teach Tamil Language, which she scored an A+ in, Yallene said she would not be able to pull off the feat without guidance and proper revision.

“We have four periods, or two hours of Tamil language subject taught in the school every week, but the teaching covers grammar and essay writing.

“To get assistance in Tamil Literature which covers novels, poems and drama, I asked for advice and extra lessons from the Tamil language teachers.

“I’m thankful for having Ms. Prema and Ms. Uma Devi in school for their help,” she said in an interview at her home last Tuesday.

Yallene also said that due to the new format in Tamil Literature introduced last year, there was little reference that she could obtain outside of school.

“There are no past-year exam questions to try out. Even reference books are limited at bookstores.

“I’m glad for the help and support from everyone in guiding me,” she added.

Asked about her secret, she said studying hard and paying attention was key, besides the willingness to always seek help from teachers.

“I also attended tuition for all the subjects, seven days a week.

“It was very tiring, but the reward is worth it,” she said.

Yallene said she has applied for various scholarships including from the Public Service Department. She hopes to pursue medicine and become a doctor.

Her parents who are both teachers also expressed pride in her success.

Her father A. Pandiyan, 47, who is a Maths teacher in SMK Simpang Ampat said he was happy with Yallene’s success and hopes that she will never give up learning her mother tongue.

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14 from SMK Tawau get excellent results

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

TAWAU: Fourteen students of SMK Tawau achieved excellent results in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2016 examination, with Mohd Syafiz Qayyum Jamihil @ Jamil one of the best students in Sabah for obtaining 6A+ and 4A’s.

Mohd Syafiz Qayyum, who was accompanied by the school headmistress, Fitriani Binti Wahid, flew to Kota Kinabalu to receive his certificate from the Education Ministry Thursday.

The other 13 top scorers were Endry Yusuf Mohd Ali (1A+, 4A, 5A-), Ho Li Vun (3A+, 5A, 2A-, 1B+), Muhammad Fadlih Baharudin (3A+, 4A, 2A-,1B), Muhammad Ismula Ikhwn Kassim (2A+, 3A, 4A-), Zainab Yusuf (3A+, 4A, 2A-, 1B+), Nur’ Nashatul Abu Bakar (5A+, 4A), Nur Farah Ain Natasha Nicholas (5A, 4A-,1B), Sim Shiang Yung (1A+, 6A, 1A-, 1B+, 1B), Nur Fadillah Mohamad@Dukah (4A, 4A-,1C+), Nur Syahirah Alim (7A, 1A-, 1B+), Nur Fatimah Yusran (4A+, 3A, 1A-, 2B+), Nur Anis Syahirah Ashari (2A+, 4A, 2A-, 2B+) and  Aida Farhana Alias (6A, 2A-, 1C+).

The school has achieved an overall passing rate of 96.25 per cent (GPS 4.19) in SPM 2016 compared to 94.27 per cent (GPS 4.52) in 2015.

The number of candidates who sat for SPM 2016 was 293.

“I urge the candidates for SPM 2017 to study diligently in order to obtain excellent results in the examinations,” Endry said.

Ho said that all students should have their own target in order to achieve excellent results.

Having a clear target is very important to achieve their ambition in the future.

Meanwhile, six students of SM Holy Trinity, Tawau, scored excellent results in their SPM 2016 with an overall school passing rate of 81.31 per cent compared to 78.89 per cent in 2015.

The school excellent headmistress, Chow Yuet Lee, said there were 112 candidates who sat for the SPM and only 87 of them passed.

The overall school average grade (GPS) was 5.69, a slight increase of 0.14 from 5.83 in 2015.

The top scorers were Nur Jannah Binti Sarkansah (straight 10As), Rashiema Nurfarain Binti Rasid (8A’s), Mimi Khairunnisa Binti Zachary (8A’s), Macklern Norbert (5A’s), Nur Syahirah Bt Suriansah (5A’s) and Tsen Jing Jing (5A’s).

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SPM: Sabah scores better

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah recorded a state average grade (GPN) of 5.64 for the 2016 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), bettering its 2015 achievement.

State Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul said in 2015, Sabah had recorded a GPN of 5.66, which is an improvement of 0.02. The lower the points, the better.

In 2016, a total of 33,581 candidates sat for the examination compared to 31,691 students in 2015.

The number of students who passed all subjects also witnessed an increase of 0.16 per cent with 16,321 candidates or 48.6 per cent compared to 15,352 candidates or 48.44 per cent in 2015.

However, the number of students scoring all As (A+, A and A-) dipped from 142 in 2015 to only 113 last year.

“A total of 57 subjects were sat by SPM candidates in 2016 in Sabah. Of this number, we managed to maintain a 100 per cent pass in 24 subjects.

“Among these subjects are Literature in English, English for Science and Technology, Automobile Servicing, Motorcycle Servicing, Multimedia Production and Computer Graphics,” she said during the announcement of the results at SMK Agama Tun Ahmadshah, near here, Thursday.

Her text was read by Deputy State Education Director Datuk Dr Mohd Kassim Mohd Ibrahim.

According to her, four core subjects – Bahasa Melayu, English, Islamic Studies and Science – also charted an improvement in the Subject Average Grade (GPMP).

The other three core subjects, namely Moral Studies, History and Mathematics, had witnessed a GPMP decrease.

She named SM Sains Kota Kinabalu with a School Average Grade of 2.49 as the best school, while SM Sains Lahad Datu (2.50) and SM St Michael, Penampang (2.50) rounded off the top three.

SMK Agama Tun Ahmadshah, Kota Kinabalu which registered 3.44, SM Ugama Islamiah, Tawau (3.44), SMK Perempuan, Sandakan (3.67), SMK Agama Kota Kinabalu (3.73), Sekolah Sukan Malaysia Sabah (3.86), SMA Al-Irsyadiah Marakau Ranau (3.97) and SMK Agama Ranau (3.99) completed the list of top 10 best schools in Sabah.

SMK Agaseh Lahad Datu’s Gan Min Hong topped the list of best students in Sabah with 8A+ and 3A, followed by Aerissa Hui Yan Yue (7A+, 2A, 2A-) from SM Sung Siew Sandakan in second place.

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