PETALING JAYA: The results for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2020 and the National Average Grade (GPN) were met with mixed reactions from education experts.
According to Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, despite the many learning challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the GPN for SPM 2020 had improved by 0.06 points.
He also noted that the GPN of 4.8 recorded for the SPM 2020 results was the country’s best in five years.
The GPN recorded in 2019 was 4.86, 4.89 in 2018, 4.9 in 2017 and 5.05
National Parent-Teacher Association president Assoc Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Hassan said the improvement recorded in the GPN was interesting and excellent, given the circumstances.
“I think all stakeholders, especially the teachers and students who put in the most to achieve such great results, should be given due recognition. This is a reflection that their hard work, despite the challenges and obstacles placed before them, has reflected in their grades,” he told theSun.
He said this shows that despite the pandemic and chaotic situations brought upon Malaysians, students were not discouraged and had put all their effort into acing the exams.
“What is more interesting is that students in rural areas have scored well too despite facing their own set of challenges throughout the year 2020,” he said.
The gap between rural and urban candidates has also narrowed – down to 0.38 last year from 0.44 in 2019.
Radzi said the GPN for urban students in 2020 was 4.68 compared with 4.7 in 2019, while the achievement for rural candidates was at 5.06 in 2020 compared with 5.14 in 2019.
Meanwhile, the performance in five core subjects – Mathematics, Science, History, Islamic Studies and Moral Education – improved in 2020, while Bahasa Melayu and English recorded a decline.
Yeosham Education Centre director Velavan Arumugam said it may not seem like much, but many students who once scored poorly in subjects such as Mathematics and Science have managed to score satisfactory results for their SPM papers.
He noted that compared with 2019, the 2020 batch of SPM students brought an array of mixed grades to the table.
“At the moment, our highest scorer is a student with 8As and 1B, which is a great accomplishment given the situations they have had to put up with,” he said.
On the other hand, Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said while it appears the SPM results have improved, it was quite the contrary.
Noor Azimah said Radzi’s statement gives students false hope as the results were not their best performance.
“The large part of the year consisted of online learning for the 63.1% of students who have learning devices although not necessarily suitable. These were of course without the challenges of connectivity, storage, sharing of devices and data.
“Others relied on TV, which is
non-interactive. Even teachers have admitted that face-to-face learning still achieves the best results. Additionally, revision and attempting past year papers were little or even non-existent as students learned to merely understand basic concepts,” she said.
“Students who pursue further education will find that at some point, significant re-learning will need to be undertaken to reach the desired level. Now that students have passed this hurdle, the next one will not be as easy.”