The UPSR examination results have revealed a decline in students’ performance with regard to the English language and this raises questions over the RM270 million paid to consultants to raise the standard of English in schools.

Zairil Khir Johari (2)Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari (left) said that by the end of the three-year "exorbitant" mentoring programme, English results should have improved.

However, only 74.4 percent managed to score a minimum of C in English, a 3 percent drop compared to last year.

The number of UPSR candidates scoring B and C also dropped the same amount while the number of candidates scoring A was more or less stagnant with only a slight dip of 0.2 percent.

"The latest UPSR results constitute a slap in the face of the Ministry of Education," he said.

Ironically, the DAP MP said, it is vernacular schools (or national-type schools) which saw improvements in English results.

The number of students who scored A went up by 4.2 percent and an additional 2.1 percent scored B and C compared to 2012.

"In other words, national-type schools that did not benefit from the foreign English mentoring programme managed to improve in the language, while national school results deteriorated despite the government spending RM270 million over three years in an effort precisely aimed at improving the level of English proficiency in national primary schools," he said.

NONEIn 2010, the ministry engaged three consultancy groups - Brighton Education Group, SMR HR and the British Council - for a three-year English language mentoring programme aimed at improving the standard of teaching and learning English in national primary schools.

The RM270 million programme is part of the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia, Improving English (MBMMBI) policy which replaced the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI)

This followed the finding that more than half of English language teachers in national schools failed the Cambridge English Placement Test.

Yesterday Bernama reported that the UPSR results this year were the best in four years, with improvement in the average National Grade (GPN). 

It was reported that 9.15 percent of students scored straight As compared to 8.94 percent last year.

~ Malaysiakini