Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof
PUTRAJAYA: The percentage of candidates who were able to obtain Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) certificates fell from 91.2% in 2012 to 85.5% in 2013.
Education director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof however denied that the drop in the percentage of candidates who qualify for the SPM certificates was the direct result of History being made a must-pass subject in SPM starting 2013.
"History may have an impact to the decrease in the percentage of students receiving the SPM certificates but a combination of subjects contribute to fewer students who qualify.
"For instance, candidates who have passed History but failed Bahasa Melayu would still not be able to obtain the SPM certificates," Khair said when releasing the analysis of SPM results at the Education Ministry on Thursday.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced in 2010 that History would be made a must-pass subject in SPM starting 2013 along with Bahasa Melayu.
Khair said candidates who failed History could resit the paper during June and July this year.
The percentage of candidates who passed History in 2013 was 86.6% compared to 80.3% in 2012.
As for Bahasa Melayu, the passing percentage was 91.4% in 2013 compared to 91.1% in 2012.
Khair said the overall SPM achievement in 2013 improved from the year before, with the National Average Grade at 4.93 compared with 5.08 in 2012.
The lower the National Average Grade is, the better the performance of students.
A total of 405 candidates (0.21%) of 442,588 candidates scored straight A+ in all papers.
"Of the top scorers, 366 candidates were from national schools while 39 were from other schools or private candidates," said Khair.