In spite of challenges, SPM students in rural Sabah bridge gap with urban peers

According to the statement, despite the challenges of implementing online learning among rural students,  the gap between rural and urban schools have reduced by over half compared to 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
According to the statement, despite the challenges of implementing online learning among rural students, the gap between rural and urban schools have reduced by over half compared to 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KOTA KINABALU, June 11 — Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, SPM students in Sabah for the year 2020 have performed well, surpassing the previous year’ results in terms of passing rate and higher achievement.

The State Education Department released data and results indicating a higher State Average Grade (GPN) this year at 5.34 compared with 5.38 in 2019. (A smaller GPN value indicates better candidate achievement).

“The 5.34 GPN is the best for Sabah in the past four years.

“Overall, the passing rate for SPM certification is also higher, at  90.42 per cent compared with 87.79 per cent in 2019 — an increase of 2.63 per cent,” said director Datuk Mistirine Radin.

According to the statement, despite the challenges of implementing online learning among rural students,  the gap between rural and urban schools have reduced by over half compared to 2019.

According to the results, 91.12 per cent of urban students passed their results while 90.59 per cent of rural students passed theirs.

“This is a 0.53 per cent passing rate gap compared to 2019’s 1.34 per cent gap between rural and urban schools,” she said.

Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew congratulated the State Education department and all teachers and parents but said there was still a lot that needed to be done to ensure children from rural and impoverished families continue to have access to educational tools.

“As we all know, there are some education-related issues that need to be addressed such as increasing digitalisation in the field of education,” Liew, who is also Api Api assemblyman, said in a statement today.

She added that many rural students, especially those from B40 households, are still awaiting their laptops from the government to facilitate the e-learning process.

The government recently announced it was giving out 10,000 laptops to students facing their Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM).

However, there have been many reports of students facing obstacles from lack of electronic gadgets, internet connection, logistics and lack of teachers during this pandemic.

In the interior districts of Sabah, students have had to congregate on bridges, tree tops, hills and higher ground to gain internet access. Many do not have laptops, smart phones or computers to run the home learning programmes.

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