Sabah rural students outperform urban peers
Published on: Friday, March 15, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Innovative approaches taken by the Sabah Education Department are beginning to show a positive result, especially in addressing the rural-urban gap in academic achievement. For the first time, the students in rural schools in Sabah outperformed their peers in urban schools in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2018 results.

Sabah Education Director Mistirine Radin said the rural schools recorded 88.18 per cent of candidates passing all subjects while their urban peers at 87.19 per cent, indicating the quality of education in rural schools in the State has been improving.

She said the placement of interim teachers in rural schools beginning early last year was one of the main factors contributing to the improvement of rural schools’ achievement.

“This is because all this while, the main problem faced by the Sabah education sector was the lack of teachers in rural areas. However, with the appointment of interim teachers based on option and locality, the move has helped the districts which are in critical need of teachers,” she told reporters after announcing the SPM 2018 results for Sabah at SM Lok Yuk, Likas, here, Thursday.

She said the commitment and skills in teaching and learning process displayed by the interim teachers, comprising Sabah-born educators, also impacted the achievement of rural school students. Currently, there are 239 interim teachers in Sabah, comprising 197 serving in rural areas and 42 in urban areas. 

That apart, performance dialogues focusing on certain issues, that involved collaboration between the academic management, schools and teachers also contributed to the good result, said Mistirine. She also commended former Sabah Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul for her tireless effort in lifting the State’s education performance during her tenure as the State Education Director.  A total of 214 schools across Sabah participated in the SPM 2018 examination, comprising 61 urban schools. 

Meanwhile, 14 schools achieved excellent School Average Grade (GPS) with SM Sains Sabah Kota Kinabalu emerging top with a GPS of 1.97, followed by SMK St Michael Penampang (2.44 GPS), SM Sains Lahad Datu (2.54), SMK Agama Tun Ahmadshah Kota Kinabalu (2.70) and SM Islamiah Tawau (3.00).

The SPM 2018 also saw district education offices given recognition for the first time, with the Penampang District Education Office recording top place with 4.81 District Average Grade (GPD). Following this are Tawau (4.83), Tenom (5.13), Kota Kinabalu (5.23), Kuala Penyu (5.28), Kudat (5.28), Tuaran (5.29), Beaufort (5.34), Ranau (5.34) and Kunak (5.40). 

Meanwhile, seven schools were awarded the Pencapaian Lonjakan Sekolah Terbaik for showing a surge in GPS of above 0.80.

The schools are SMK Wallace Bay Tawau, SMK Taman Tun Fuad Kota Kinabalu, SMK St Mary Sandakan, SMK St Patrick Beaufort, SMK Timbua Ranau, SMK St Michael Penampang and SMK Ulu Sugut Ranau.  Last years’ SPM also saw an increase by 484 candidates with a total of 34,322 compared to 33,838 in 2017.

There was also an increase by 0.80 per cent passes with a total of 17,420 candidates (51.68 per cent passes) last year compared to 17,217 candidates with 50.88 per cent passes in 2017.  The exam also saw a total of 152 candidates scoring straight A’s last year. 

A total of 53 subjects were taken by the SPM candidates last year, with a total of 22 subjects recording 100 per cent passes. 

Meanwhile, from the seven core subjects, three showed an increase in terms of quality. These are Science from 5.36 Subject Average Grade Point (GPMP) in 2017 to 5.28 GPMP last year, Pendidikan Moral from 4.32 GPMP in 2017 to 4.17 GPMP last year and Sejarah (5.73 GPMP to 5.47 GPMP last year). - Sherell Jeffrey and photo by Locksley Ng



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