Is an 'A' in the recently released SPM results really worth an 'A'? It's a government secret, laments PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Nurul said the government's refusal to release the exact marks for specific grades meant that the real achievement of students' cannot be evaluated.
"How can we be confident that the results are good when the passing and grade marks in the examination are considered secret under the Official Secrets Act?
"We should have the right to evaluate how far these results fulfilled our national education achievement targets," she said in a statement today.
On Thursday, the SPM examination results were released with 13,970 achieving straight As compared to 13,720 students last year.
Despite the rosy results, Nurul pointed out that they have not been consistent with international benchmarks such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
She noted that according to TIMMS, Malaysia's mathematics and science performance had plunged from 16 to 26 place and 22 to 32 place respectively in the last 12 years as at 2011.
In the Pisa 2012, Malaysia ranked 52, 53 and 59 for Mathematics, Science and reading respectively, far behind Vietnam which ranked 17, 8 and 19 for the same subjects.
"Clearly, the SPM results give a blurry picture that does not reflect the real state of our education.
"Malaysia clearly cannot compete internationally. Is SPM manipulated by the government as a smokescreen for the rakyat?" she said.
Nurul said she had last week written to the Education Ministry for a bi-partisan discussion among stakeholders to overcome these problems.
“The crisis of educational contradiction necessitates that the government take a more open and inclusive approach in drafting education policies so that eminent local and international academics can come up with the best solutions," she said.