Dr Khair who is holding a copy of the 2016 SPM analysis, says the improvement in rural areas was due to dedicated teachers.
STUDENTS who sat for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) last year did better overall compared with 2015, even when fewer of them scored straight As.
Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said 8,647 or 2.13% of the 434,535 students obtained A+, A or A- in all of their subjects, which is a slight drop compared with 2015, where 9,721 or 2.38% scored the same results.
“There has also been a drop in the number of students with straight A+,” he said when announcing the SPM 2016 analysis at the Education Ministry last Thursday.
In 2015, 163 (2.6%) had perfect A+ but it dropped to 102 (1.94%) this time around. Fewer students registered for SPM 2016, with 434,535 versus 440,682 for SPM 2015.
However, Dr Khair added that even though fewer students obtained straight As, overall they did better when viewed using the National Average Grade (Gred Purata Nasional, or GPN).
The latest GPN is 5.10, which is better than the previous year’s of 5.15, he said.
GPN scores range from 0 to 9.
“A smaller GPN means that students did better (in the examinations),” Dr Khair explained, while adding that the performance gap between rural and urban candidates has also shrunk.
Dr Khair attributed this improvement in rural areas to dedicated teachers who embraced better teaching and learning processes there.
He said the English Language was one of the core subjects that had a better Subject Average Grade compared to 2015.
When compared to the previous year, the average grade for the subject improved to 5.99 from 6.08.
Students who sat for the SPM last year were also the first batch to undergo the school-based assessment system, introduced to Form One classes back in 2012.
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