Starting next year, students sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination will only be allowed to take a maximum of 10 subjects, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

In line with the decision, there would also be changes in the grading system, Muhyiddin, who is the education minister, added.

“It will have many positive implications, one of course is that the teachers will be able to focus on the core subjects and they will also become more specialised,” he told reporters after visiting the Education Complex project site in Bandar Enstek today.

He was accompanied by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.

Muhyiddin said that of the half-a-million students who sat for the SPM examination, over 48,000 took more than 10 subjects.

He said that the decision would also ease the shortage of teachers for certain subjects.

Parents would also be able to save on the cost of sending their children for tuition for the additional subjects, he added.

He also said that the ministry was serious in narrowing the gap between rural and urban students.

“The gap is not wide but there are disparities in aspects like examination results,” he said.

Towards this end, Muhyiddin said, the ministry would be implementing several changes during the 10th Malaysia Plan covering issues like infrastructure development, teaching staff and teaching methods.

“So we want school development in rural areas to be on par with those in the urban areas in terms of infrastructure and teaching facilities,” he said. – Bernama