A total of 15,793 students obtained straight A's in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2012 examination, a rise of 0.13 percent compared to the 15,079 students in the previous year.Again, with the increase of straight A's in SPM 2012, it's proven true that exam results released in the election year are usually better to create an impression that our education is improving.
Director-General of Education Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said 13,721 students were from the government schools, compared to only 12,970 students in 2011, while 2,072 candidates were from private schools compared to 2,109 the previous year.
"In addition, 481 candidates scored grade A+, which is the highest mark for all subjects that they sat for, with 431 candidates from the government schools and 43 from private schools," he said.
When announcing the SPM results at his office, here today Abd Ghaffar said 488 candidates with special needs sat for the exam compared with 622 candidates last year, an increase of 27.5 percent.
According to Abd Ghaffar, three candidates with impaired vision and two candidates with Attention Deficit Disorder and High Spectrum Autism achieved a minimum of A- in all the subjects.
"The success of the five special needs candidates shows that all students, despite their shortcomings, have equal oportunity to excel in the SPM," he said.
There was a 0.04 point decline in the National Grade Point Average (GPN) bringing the number to 5.08 compared to 5.04 the previous year.
"The decline was due to an increase in the number of subjects that reported a drop in performance that exceeded the number of subjects that had reported improvements," he said.
Although the number was not significant because it was below 0.05 points, Abd Ghafar said he had instructed a study to be done and improvements to be made in the future.
He said that based on the GPN, the achievements of candidates in urban areas dropped 0.16 point to 4.83 compared with 4.67 previously, while candidates in rural areas also saw a drop of 0.05 points to 5.44 points from 5.39 points last year.
The smaller drop in results of students in rural areas had created a big gap in achievements between the urban and rural candidates which is now 0.61 point compared to 0.71 point in 2011.
Abd Ghafar said based on the Subject Grade Point Average, the performance in 51 subjects improved while 54 subjects saw a drop and three subjects remained the same.
He added, two of the subjects that saw improvements were Mathematics which rose 0.30 point and Moral Studies with 0.21 point.
"Other core subjects namely English, Bahasa Melayu, Islamic Studies, History and Science however saw a drop in GPA," he said.
According to Abd Ghafar, 229,009 or 51.1 percent of the candidates who sat for 1119 English were sucessful in obtaining GCE O-Level.
For elective subjects, 49 out of 101 subjects improved including elective science subjects, additional mathematics, chemistry and biology that had a significant increase of 0.33 point.
Other technical elective subjects included Mechanical Engineering, Design, Engineering Technology and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The Principle of Accounting subject also showed a 0.10 increase and out of 78,612 candidates, 48,193 candidates or 61.3 percent of them obtained LCCI certification from Education Development International (EDI), United Kingdom.
A total of 472,541 candidates registered for the SPM in 2012, an increase of 0.8 percent compared to 468,808 in 2011 with 415,530 candidates from the government schools.
The SPM 2012 written exam was conducted from Nov 5 to Dec 6 last year at 3,590 exam centers, involving 30,239 invigilators and 22,930 examiners.
The Ministry of Education also hired foreign auditors including from Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), United Kingdom, National Institute for Educational Measurement (Cito), Netherlands and Education Development International (EDI), United Kingdom to ensure the examination recieved international accreditation.