Friday, November 14, 2008

UPSR: Larger number of pupils answering in English

The Star

Overjoyed pupils of SK Bukit Damansara showing off their
UPSR results on Thursday. A total of 159,234 pupils
answered the
Science paper completely
in English. For Mathematics
it was 238,153.

PUTRAJAYA: Between 31% to 46% of pupils who sat for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) this year answered the questions set for the Science and Mathematics paper entirely in English.

Education director-general Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom said a total of 159,234 pupils answered the Science paper completely in English. For Mathematics it was 238,153.

This is a significant increase compared to last year’s figure of 1,324 for Science and 1,075 for Mathematics.

“The 518,616 pupils who sat for the UPSR this year are the first group to have started studying the two subjects in English since the policy was introduced in 2003,” he told a press conference Thursday after giving an analysis of the UPSR 2008 results at the ministry.

He said pupils had the option of answering the two subjects entirely in English, in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese/Tamil (mother tongue) or a combination of all three.

Alimuddin said that this year’s UPSR results would be discussed by stakeholders at round table meetings before a final decision to continue teaching Science and Mathematics in English or to revert to Bahasa Malaysia would be made.

Ministry officers would also compile all the data related to the issue including newspaper articles and memoranda received to Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, he added.

“The minister will then bring the matter to the Cabinet for a decision,” he said.

The policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English was implemented in phases, starting with Year One, Form One and Lower Six in 2003.

Hishammuddin had said that whatever was decided, the ministry would not implement the new policy in January next year as it was too soon.

He said any decision would not affect those already in the system and that it would start with a new group of Year One pupils.

Meanwhile, Alimuddin said the ministry had compared this year’s UPSR results with the last five years’ to compare pupils’ performance.

“The pupils’ UPSR results were better this year compared to the average measured over the last five years,” he said.

He said 9.2% (46,641) scored all As this year compared with an average of 7.8% over the last five years.

The number of pupils who achieved grades A, B and C in all subjects was 62.7% this year compared to the 60.5% average over five years.

Alimuddin said the ministry would not be releasing information on the top pupils and also the states’ results to the public.

“The information will be released to the state education department, district education office and school but we don’t want parents or pupils to feel pressured,’’ he said.

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