KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 ― The number of UPSR students who passed the English paper this year fell, according Education Director-General Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, amid renewed concerns over Malaysians’ proficiency in the language.
Besides the decline in passes, the ministry’s analysis of this year’s results showed that those who scored distinctions in the paper in national also dropped to 17.7 per cent versus 20.0 per cent in 2014.
“Only 77.6 per cent of the 337,384 government school pupils who sat for the paper scored a minimum grade of C compared to 79.3 per cent last year,” Khair was quoted as saying by The Star today.
Performance in vernacular schools also suffered, with the pass rate falling to 69.7 per cent against last year’s 71.7 per cent.
The Education Ministry also split the English language subject for UPSR examinations into two components — comprehension and writing — in a bid to address language competency issues on September.
Concerns over Malaysians’ weakening grasp of English were reignited following reports that over 1,000 trainee doctors dropped out due to their lack of proficiency in the language, among others.