DAP calls on Chinese educational bodies to launch a nation-wide inquiry

DAP calls on Chinese educational bodies to launch a nation-wide inquiry into the reasons for the mass failures in Chinese primary schools during last year’s Standard V Assessment Test

I am glad that the President of the Chinese Teachers’ Federation, Mr. Sim Moh Yu, in his speech to the National Chinese School B category Teachers’ General Meeting over the weekend, has expressed deep concern at the shockingly high percentage of failures among Chinese primary school students in last year’s Standard V Assessment Examination.

I had had for some time tried to arouse public consciousness and concern over this very grave problem, but had until now been a lone voice in the wilderness.

As the Parliamentary session last May, I had asked the Minister of Education for the detailed results of the Standard V Assessment Examination last year, and it was only a week ago that I received the answer.

The results are indeed a shocker, for it showed that there had been mass failures in last year’s Standard V Assessment Examination in all language-stream primary schools.

A study of the results of the Chinese primary school students showed that they have done even worse, when compared to other schools. In fact, in the Chinese language subjects, all states accept Malacca had over 34% failures by Chinese school students.

The percentage of failures of Standard V students of Chinese primary schools on last year’s Assessment Test for the Chinese language is as follows:

Perak 50.84%
Pahang 49.59%
Selangor 49.30%
Negri Sembilan 41.23%
Terengganu 41.50%
Penang 40.57%
Johore 40.30%
Kedah 37.28%
Perlis 36.96%
Kelantan 33.89%
Malacca 29.13%

For Bahasa Malaysia I, the Chinese primary school students failed even more miserably. In Pahang, 69.11% of the students failed, in Selangor, 66.3% and in Perak 60.75%.

For English, Selangor topped the percentage of failures, with 66.06%, followed by Perak with 60.66% and Pahang 61.09%. The performance of the Chinese primary schools in the other three subjects, science, mathematics and history-geography are also very unsatisfactory.

Parents, educators and the public have a right to know the results of the Standard V pupils in the Assessment Examination, to know how well or how badly they are faring.

It is highly regrettable that the Ministry of Education has deliberately chosen to keep the public in the dark about the Standard V Assessment Examination results, until I had asked for them in Parliament.

As it is in the public interest to know the results, I am giving the percentage of failures of Chinese school pupils in each subject:

Percentage of Failures in 1971 Std. V Assessment Examination National-type (Chinese) primary schools

Bahasa Malaysia I Bahasa Inggeris I

Pahang 69.11% Selangor 66.06%
Selangor 66.33% Pahang 61.09%
Perak 60.75% Perak 60.66%
Negri Sembilan 57.35% Johore 56.62%
Johore 55.25% Trengganu 55.75%
Trengganu 51.75% Negri Sembilan 55.38%
Perlis 44.66% Perlis 51.13%
Penang 43.32% Penang 50.44%
Kedah 40.81% Malacca 45.81%
Malacca 39.00% Kedah 44.02%
Kelantan 32.44% Kelantan 40.10%

Mathematics Science

Selangor 42.17% Selangor 35.99%
Pahang 42.04% Perak 35.59%
Perak 41.64% Pahang 34.72%
Negri Sembilan 34.69% Penang 30.96%
Trengganu 33.75% Trengganu 28.75%
Johore 33.60% Johore 26.86%
Perlis 30.66% Negri Sembilan 25.78%
Penang 28.69% Perlis 25.25%
Malacca 26.20% Kedah 24.77%
Kelantan 26.58% Kelantan 16.28%
Kedah 23.22%


Perak 49.56%
Selangor 47.92%
Pahang 47.13%
Penang 43.11%
Johore 41.44%
Negri Sembilan 41.41%
Trengganu 36.75%
Perlis 36.01%
Kedah 33.53%
Kelantan 31.39%
Malacca 29.36%

Any study of the results of the above six subjects of last year’s Standard V Assessment Test will show that the standards and quality of education in the V Chinese primary schools is shockingly low.

As a matter of fact, the same conclusion will have to be drawn when we study the Std. V Assessment Test results of other language-stream schools. This, however, is no matter for consolation for those who have the concern and interest of Chinese education at heart.

Unless the Chinese educationists, teachers and educational bodies take grave concern of this high percentage of failures in Chinese primary schools, then it will not be far off when the parents will have no confidence in sending their children to Chinese schools.

I therefore call on all Chinese educational bodies, especially the Chinese Teachers’ Federation and the Chinese School Boards of Management and Governors Federation, to launch a nation-wide inquiry to establish the causes for the mass failures in the Std. V Assessment Test last year among students of Chinese Schools.

Such an inquiry should be conducted through surveys, seminars, conferences, so that a wide spectrum of views and opinions could be sought to find ways to upgrade the standard of education in Chinese primary schools.

I would also suggest that the Chinese educational bodies should also liaise with the educational bodies of other language stream schools for this problem of low percentage of passes affects all primary schools.

This is a matter of grave urgency. I urge the Chinese educations, teachers and lovers to rise up to the challenge of the moment: to arrest the decline in the standard and quality of education in Chinese primary schools, and take steps to upgrade Chinese educational standards and quality.