A total of 26,378 students or 5.96 per cent of the 2008 Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) candidates scored grade A in all subjects they sat for compared to 5.65 per cent last year and 4.83 per cent in 2006.

Education director-general Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom said the PMR results this year was better than last year in terms of the number of candidates getting grade A to E in the subjects they had taken.

“The results in all subjects, except for Geography and Arabic Communication, are better than last year with English achieving the highest increase by 3.6 per cent,” he said when announcing the results here today.

He said the disparity in the performance between urban and rural candidates have narrowed especially in Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics and Science.

“The reduced disparity shows that the second thrust of the Education Strategic Planning in the Education Development Masterplan, that is to bridge the performance gap between urban and rural students, has met its objectives,” he said.

On the number of candidates who failed to achieve the minimum standard by scoring at least grade D in all subjects, he said the figure had reduced from 63.53 per cent last year to 62.93 per cent this year.

On the number of students who scored grade E in all subjects, he said they accounted for 440 candidates (0.10 per cent) compared to 559 candidates (0.13 per cent) in 2007 and 524 (0.13 per cent) in 2006.

“The majority of the candidates achieved better than grade C in 12 subjects and this is commendable,” he said.

Alimuddin said it was encouraging to notice that the number of students answering Science and Mathematics papers in English had increased.

He said 51.2 per cent of the candidates answered Science papers in English this year compared to 21.5 per cent last year, and 26.9 per cent tackled Mathematics questions in English compared to 4.6 per cent last year.

In JOHOR BAHARU, 3,031 or 5.65 per cent of PMR candidates in Johor scored grade A in all subjects (7As to 9As).

Johor education director Sufaat Tumin said of them, 356 candidates obtained 9As, 2,348 (8As) and 327 (7As), and the number increased by 453 compared to last year.

He said Johor achieved the School Grade Point Average of 2.84, the best result ever in five years with 15 schools accomplished outstanding results.

In KANGAR, Perlis’ performance improved by 1.04 per cent to 56.59 per cent with 276 of 4,658 candidates or 5.93 per cent scoring A in all subjects, said state education director Mansor Lat.

Of them, 50 candidates obtained 9As, 220 (8As) and six (7As), he added.

He said two schools – Sekolah Menengah Sains Tuanku Syed Putra and SMK Derma, Kangar achieved 100 per cent passes while five schools exceeded the state average.

In KOTA BAHARU, 1,517 or 4.48 per cent of 31,346 candidates in Kelantan scored grade A in all subjects this year, an increase 95 students or 4.45 per cent compared to last year.

State education director Mohd Ghazali Ab. Rahman said 409 of them obtained 9As, 1,090 students (8As) and 18 (7As).

He said 10 schools, including four boarding schools, achieved 100 per cent passes, and they also improved their performance in English, Science and Mathematics.

In SEREMBAN, 1,317 students in Negeri Sembilan obtained A in all subjects with 163 scoring 9As.

State deputy education director Jamali Salam said the state Grade Average improved by 0.02 per cent to 2.77 per cent but the number of candidates who sat for the examination dropped by 264 to 17,662 this year.

Renowned schools like Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan King George V, Kolej Tunku Kursiah and Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak (SDAR) continued to record outstanding results.