Thursday, May 28, 2009

10-subject cap for SPM from next year


By SARBAN SINGH

NILAI: Beginning next year, students sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination would only be allowed to sit for a maximum of 10 subjects.

The grading system for the examination would also be adjusted to better reflect the academic achievements of the students, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin.

He said the Education Ministry decided to do away with the open certificate system which allowed students to sit for as many subjects, as the majority took only 10 or fewer subjects.

“Records show that some 90% of students sitting for the SPM take 10 or fewer subjects. We want to streamline this as this would also be an easier way to determine the awarding of scholarships,” he said.

Some 450,000 students sat for the SPM last year.

Muhyiddin, also the Education Minister, said teachers would also be able to give more focus if students were only allowed to take up to 10 subjects.

“Teachers will be able to focus on core subjects ... also, parents would not have to rush their children for tuition classes if they took too many subjects.

“There are a lot of positives if we cap the subjects at 10. I am sure parents will welcome this ... it will also help teachers to better equip themselves (as they would not be burdened teaching other subjects),” he said.

On the grading system, Muhyiddin said instead of giving students a straight 1A, B or C, they would from next year be graded A+, A or A- and so on.

“The new grading system would be more effective when deciding which student is most qualified to get a scholarship,” he said.

Muhyiddin had earlier laid the foundation stone for the new RM1.3bil Education Complex at Bandar Enstek near here. The 290ha complex would among others house the Institut Aminuddin Baki and Institut Pendidikan Guru main campuses, English Language Training Centre, Tunku Kurshiah College and Nilai Polytechnic.

Construction of the first phase of the project started in 2006 and is expected to be completed at the end of next year. The second phase of the project would be carried out from 20100-2015.

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