PUTRAJAYA, Nov 30 ― Malaysia has made an improvement in mathematics and science and the Education Ministry hopes the upward trend will continue to boost the education system.
Education director-general Tan Sri Khair Mohamad Yusof said the ministry would carry on improving the curriculum and standards of education to ensure students score in every aspect and any given time.
He was referring to Malaysia’s achievement in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015.
Malaysia's scores for both subjects were better compared to the 2011 assessment. It chalked up 465 points for mathematics and 471 points for science in assessments conducted on 9,726 Form 2 students, 652 teachers and 207 principals from 207 schools nationwide.
Malaysia was among 38 other countries, including Singapore, Israel, Thailand, the United States, Britain, Hong Kong and Russia, in the assessment.
In the 2011 assessment, Malaysia scored 440 points in mathematics and 426 points in science.
Malaysia ranked 22nd in mathematics and 24th in science. In the previous assessment, the country was placed 26th and 32nd, respectively.
The study also showed girls fared better in all domains, and the gap between urban and rural schools closing.
“We need to ensure our students are prepared for challenges all the time, not just when facing an official assessment like TIMSS,” Khair said when presenting the report yesterday.
He said the achievement had placed Malaysia in the middle of the overall ranking and the end-target was for the nation to be part of the top one-third.
Khair said among the factors that contributed to the improvement were the schools’ environment and students’ socio-economic background.
“Almost all teachers and principals have higher educational backgrounds with more than 50 per cent of teachers with over a decade of teaching experience.
“We will continue our efforts to achieve better results. We target to accomplish 500 points in both subjects in the next assessment cycle (TIMSS 2019).”
Singapore topped the ranks in both subjects. The republic’s students have consistently done well in the study conducted every four years since 1995.
Its education ministry said syllabus changes, which saw two “massive rounds” of content reduction in 1998 and 2003, could have played a part in the improvements.