KUCHING: More efforts are needed to improve the results of English language in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) since it will be made a compulsory subject to pass in 2016.
Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said only 11.27% of candidates in Sarawak achieved at least A- in English in last year’s SPM compared with 13.5% at the national level.
She also said 23.16% of the state’s candidates failed English.
“Therefore, we need to make more efforts to ensure that more candidates master English in addition to Bahasa Melayu and History,” she said during the SPM results announcement at the state education department on Monday.
Starting next year, all SPM candidates must pass English as well as Bahasa Malaysia and History to be qualified to receive their SPM certificates.
State education director Serina Sauni said 15 students scored straight A+ in last year’s exam, comprising two with 11A+, 10 with 10A+ and three with 9A+, while 694 obtained a minimum A- in every subject.
The top performing schools in the state are SM Sains Kuching, SM Sains Miri, SM Sains Kuching Utara, SMP Lodge, MRSM Betong, Kolej Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah and SMK St Elizabeth.
Overall, 81.4% out of 27,562 students passed their exams last year.
Earlier, Fatimah encouraged SPM scholars to apply to the Teacher Training Institutes (IPG) and be a teacher to provide quality education to the future generation.
“I would like to take this chance to promote and encourage excellent students or students who achieved at least 5As in SPM to pursue a career as a teacher,” she said.
Last year, 5,000 candidates applied to be a teacher. However, she said, only 1,000 or so fulfilled the criteria of a minimum of 5As. After final interviews, only 300 candidates were offered places at IPG.
“Much as we like to increase the number of intakes from Sarawakians, we must never compromise on quality. In the long run, quality teachers and principals will produce quality students,” Fatimah added.
Every year, the SPM results produced pools of potential candidates for IPG. Fatimah said the first requirement to enrol in IPG was qualification and the second factor was their passion in this profession.
“It’s not just a job. To be a quality teacher, you have to have passion. You must be willing to walk the extra mile especially if you are posted to the rural areas,” she said.