At last year’s SPM exams, 10803 pupils scored straight As, with 559 of them chalking up A+ grades in all subjects. With so many geniuses in the country, why are we in such deep … (fill in the blank)?
In the previous year (2011), 9239 pupils scored straight As of which 403 bagged A+ grades in all subjects.
A student is allowed to take up to 12 subjects.
We are told there has been an upward trend in the “National Average Grade” for SPM from 2007 to 2011. Let’s hope this is the case because the situation looked pretty bleak in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) 2007 report.
Comparing TIMMS 1999 and TIMMS 2007, we can see that the percentages of students in Malaysia meeting international benchmarks for Mathematics and Science have been dropping.
The chart below shows the Maths benchmarks for Malaysia and how the percentages meeting international benchmarks fell at all levels between 1999 and 2007. (Similar drops were seen in Science.)
This chart below provides a snapshot of Grade 8 Maths – the declining percentage of students meeting Advanced and High benchmarks. Similar falls were also seen at the Intermediate and Low benchmarks.
You can see how far we lag behind countries such as Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Korea.
Time for a total revamp in our education system to create more thinking and analytical Malaysians, don’t you think? Don’t count on it; I don’t see any effective revamp happening under this administration, which seems to thrive on the ignorance and lack of thinking skills among Malaysians.
The term “ignocracy” has been suggested by blogger John Bald to describe “the tyrannical imposition of stupid ideas, practices and items for political purposes” – and this term has been used by Tengku Razaleigh to describe the prevailing situation.
In the UK, philosopher Professor A C Grayling has sharply criticised the exam-oriented system: “You can get students with very large numbers of A*s who are no brighter or more promising than someone with less brilliant results on paper that are interesting and with whom a lot can be done” (Daily Mail).