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Why do SPM students take so many subjects?

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 May 2009: Quest for knowledge or a race to obtain more straight As?

This question of insatiable SPM students trying to outdo each other in breaking the annual record of becoming the one who obtains the most straight As has the Education Ministry cracking its head for an answer.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the ministry was looking at all the aspects involved and wondered why some students want to sit for so many subjects in the Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia (SPM) examination and how the situation could be controlled.

He said this was needed to avoid all sorts of confusion and complaints arising from the issue of top SPM scorers not being awarded government scholarships or securing a place in universities. 

For example, he said, if a SPM student was already taking Physics, Chemistry and Biology, it became redundant if he also took the Science subject.

“And taking another almost similar subject won’t fit the purpose of learning and gaining knowledge. It’s just like when you have already passed the SPM examination, you sit for PMR or UPSR (middle school and primary school examinations), which will be relatively easier for you.

“But what is the purpose of doing so?” he said after launching the Tunku Abdul Rahman College-Gamuda Trainee Quantity Surveyors Programme here, today.

Wee told this to reporters when asked to comment on calls to limit the number of subjects that SPM candidates can take in the open certificate examination.

He said a group of academicians and professionals had started to study the matter as directed by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last week.

He added that he hoped that the committee would come up with its findings on how to rectify the matter soonest possible. — Bernama

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One Response to “Why do SPM students take so many subjects?”

  1. Evon says:

    Whatever it is the ministry decides, please do so after actually thinking about it. We hear all this every March-June after the results are released. Now want to limit the number of subjects, but what is the appropriate number?

    Everyone who favours this solution talks about those taking Physics, Biology and Chemistry and then take Science, what about the rest? A pure science stream (who normally take sciences ‘cos it’s ‘safe’) students will have to take 10 subjects, but what if he/she is interested in Arts? There are Accounting, Economics, Perdagangan and even Seni and Literature (BI or BM) available. If the student is genuinely interested to learn more and is willing to work for it, why put a limit to what they can achieve? And limit to what number? 12? 13? 14? Currently there is already a ruling that requires students to pay their own exam fees after the 12th subject, isn’t that enough of a limit already?

    This is not a serious proposal because it doesn’t deal with the root issue of the whole PSD fiasco, which is lack of transparency. Don’t try to score political points by toying with the students’ future.

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