Sharp drop in UPSR straight As

There is sharp drop in number of pupils in Sarawak scoring straight As in the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) which was held under a new format this year compared to last year.

State Education Department director Rakayah Madon said the number of straight As students was 284 or 0.69 per cent of the 41,380 candidates from government schools (SK) and Chinese schools (SJKC) in the state who sat for the test.

This percentage is in stark contrast to last year’s result under the previous format which was based on objective questions, in which 4.85 per cent or 1,998 pupils out of 41,199 candidates scored straight As.

However, she pointed out that the new format which entailed the pupils to answer the questions in written form was not merely on how many Grade As the candidate scored but it was more on the candidate’s academic achievement in terms of literacy, numeracy and reasoning skills.

“This year’s UPSR candidates were the first batch to follow the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) and also the School-based Assessment (PBS) since Primary 1 in 2011 which aimed to develop the pupils in a comprehensive, balanced and integrated manner.

“The UPSR results refer to the level of academic achievement of candidates based on standards of content, studies, and performances as contained in the Curriculum and Assessment Standard Document (DSKP) and not on passing or failing,” she said when announcing the UPSR 2016 results at the State Education Department auditorium here yesterday.

Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah was present.

Under the new format, she explained, Grade A would be categorised as ‘excellent’, Grade B (good), Grade C (satisfactory), Grade D (achieved minimum level) and Grade E (below minimum level).

In this year’s UPSR, 18,923 pupils from SKs secured combination grades of A, B, C, and D (School Grade Point Average (GPS) of 3.20) while 5,539 candidates from SJKCs scored the same combination grades (GPS of 3.03).

GPS is the index used to show the achievement of the candidates whereby the lower the GPS, the better the achievement.

On the achievement of schools in the state, Rakayah said 143 primary schools achieved 100 per cent passes this year, out of which 127 were SKs and the remaining were SJKCs.

“There are also 41 schools which achieved between 90 and 99.9 per cent passes while 145 schools recorded achievement of 80 to 89.9 per cent,” she said.

She also noted that this year’s exam saw rural and interior schools in the state shine as they emerged top with their very encouraging results that were evaluated based on their GPS.

“We have 26 out of 27 schools obtaining a GPS of 2.10 and below which are rural and interior schools with the top school being SK Merakai, Serian with its GPS of 1.33,” she revealed.

Other schools that did very well, she added, were SJKC Ming Ching, Meradong (1.60 GPS) and SK Pendidikan Khas (B) Kuching (1.67 GPS).

Apart from these schools, SK Mentu, Simunjan (1.69 GPS); SK Assan Nunggang, Sibu (1.75 GPS); and SJKC Ming Tak, Sarikei (1.75 GPS) were also among the rural schools obtaining excellent GPS while SK Ng Bangkit, Song (GPS of 1.72); SK Long Atip, Baram (1.75 GPS) and SK Sg Tau, Selangau (1.75 GPS) were three interior schools which also achieved excellent GPS, she elaborated.

Meanwhile, Fatimah said despite the change in format, the state was still able to produce excellent students.

“We are aware that if there are changes in policy or the format of the examination, it will in one way or another contribute towards the achievement of results.

“But despite all this, we are still able to see our students achieve excellence,” she remarked, and congratulated the students present at the auditorium.

During the ceremony, Fatimah alongside Rakayah presented students who scored excellent results in UPSR 2016 with their result slip as well as a certificate of recognition from the State Education Department.

State Education Department Education Service Commission (SPP) sector head Su Hiong Ai and head of Examination Unit Norwati Wahi were present.

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