Updated 4.17pm, 28 May 2009
NILAI, 28 May 2009: Starting next year, students sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination will only be allowed to take a maximum of 10 subjects, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
In line with the decision, there would also be changes in the grading system, Muhyiddin, who is the education minister, said.
“It will have many positive implications, one of course is that the teachers will be able to focus on the core subjects and they will also become much more specialised,” he told reporters after visiting the Education Complex project site in Bandar Enstek today.
He was accompanied by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.
Muhyiddin said that of the half a million students who sat for the SPM examination, over 48,000 of them took more than 10 subjects.
He said that the decision would also ease the shortage of teachers for certain subjects.
Parents would also be able to save on the cost of sending their children to tuitions for the additional subjects, he added.
He also said that the ministry was serious in narrowing the gap between rural and urban students.
“The gap is not wide but there are disparities in aspects like examination results,” he said.
Towards this end, Muhyiddin said, the ministry would be implementing several changes during the 10th Malaysia Plan covering issues like infrastructure development, teaching staff and teaching methods.
“So we want school development in rural areas to be on par with those in the urban areas in terms of infrastructure and teaching facilities,” he said.
He said that taking the interest of teachers qualified to teach English, Science and Mathematics in the rural areas would be among the challenges that needed to be overcome in implementing the changes.
Although the ministry offered RM1,500 in allowance as an incentive for them to teach in rural areas, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, there were many other challenges that needed to be dealt with, he said.
Muhyiddin said he was now looking into how to make the lives of teachers in rural areas more comfortable, including providing them when housing facility.
The RM1.3 billion Education Complex is sited on a 400ha area and would house the Education Ministry as well as the Higher Education Ministry.
The project is scheduled for completion by end of next year. — Bernama